Sacre Coeur, Paris

This is the view looking up from the base of the Butte, before we tackled the 220 steps to the top.

The building stays this blinding white despite the pollution because every time it rains there is a chemical reaction with the rainwater and the stone secretes calcite and this naturally bleaches the outside.

You can see quite how high we are here; this is the highest natural point in Paris, some 130m up. The Butte is a natural hill and it seems strange that Sacre Coeur was the first major building to be eretced on the very top, though in all probability it was not. There is strong evidence that the Romans had a temple to Mars up here, though the exact location is unknown. For those who can’t face the steps, there is a funicular railway that takes the strain, though it has to be the shortest journey you can take on a Metro ticket.

I wasn’t able to take any photos inside Sacre Coeur so if you ever go, do go inside. The interior is as lovely as the exterior.

Next: the artists’ square at Montmartre and the man who I saved from being run over…..

5 thoughts on “Sacre Coeur, Paris

  1. I like the panorama shot over Paris, gives one a sense of the height. I should think someone was there before the Romans, building, don’t you? Actually, I always think Sacre Ceour looks more like a mosque then a church in outline!


    • Probably but wooden buildings leave few traces, and even less when the area is heavily built upon. The Ile de la cite has the remains of the temple to the Jupiter below it, under either Notre dame or close to it.
      I took the funicular railway down, one of the kids was handicapped and couldn’t do the steps so I was his escort down as down is my harder route.
      I think Sacre Coeur looks like a fantasy castle and needs a Rapunzel or a sleeping beauty somewhere…!


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