The shape of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris, France is unmistakeable. The domed white church at the top of the Montmartre district can be spotted from the Museo D’Orsey, the Eiffel Tower, and many other places. On a sunny day in April, we climbed the hill to catch a glimpse of this well-known Parisian beacon. We got more than just a peek. Here are five incredible views of Sacré-Cœur in Paris, France.
1. The View from the Front
We did have to plow our way through vendors and tourists to get our first clear view of Sacré-Cœur near the carousel at the base of the hill leading to the church.
The view of Sacré-Cœur from the front somehow became even more majestic the closer we got. The complex intersection of angles and arches demanded that our eyes keep moving, keep following carefully crafted architectural lines, and keep looking up.
2. The View from the Back
We avoided the crowded steps up to the entrance of the church and took the quieter route up the back stairs. Just behind the basilica, a small park provides the perfect serene contrast to the bustling tours and visitors around the front. We stopped at a park bench to take in the back view of Sacré-Cœur and were not disappointed. Eventually, left the park to face the church crowds…and to take a peek inside.
3. View from Inside the Sacré-Cœur
The interior view of Sacré-Cœur was just as complex and elaborate as the exterior, but, more colorful. Intricate mosaics, light-pattern-creating stained-glass windows, ornate architectural design, and age-old murals adorned the gigantic space.
Curiously enough, I noticed more depictions of Jesus than I’ve typically seen in Catholic cathedrals. The full name of the church translates to ‘The Sacred Heart of Jesus Basilica,’ so I guess it makes sense that Jesus would be the primary subject of imagery.
4. The View of the City of Paris
We stepped back outside past the arched entrance to begin our descent into the Montmartre district. But first, we paused to enjoy the incredible view of Paris from the hilltop vantage point of Sacré-Cœur. In the city below, we could locate Notre Dame, the George Pompidou Center, and of course, the Eiffel Tower.
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5. The View from Up Close
While the grandeur of Sacré-Cœur is certainly the draw, it’s the small things and the attention to detail that makes this iconic destination grand. From the statues and gargoyles…
…to the turrets, rooftops, doors, and windows…
…every inch of this basilica offers new, visual treasures to find.
Inside, the tile-work and reliefs require close scrutiny to fully appreciate the decorative nuance applied to every wall, column, and feature.
Even the organ and windows are not left to their own functions, but, display detailed woodwork and stone carvings.
The five views of Sacré-Cœur are not to be missed when visiting Paris. From the towering domes or cityscape panorama to the tiniest engraved feature, the basilica catches everyone’s eye. What’s your favorite view of Sacré-Cœur? Well, that depends on your point of view!
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