"Sacré-Coeur (18th)" Top 5 Page for this destination Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Monmartre Tip by Nemorino

by Nemorino
  • - Paris
  • 2. Looking up - Paris
      2. Looking up
    by Nemorino
  • 3. From the bottom of the stairs - Paris
      3. From the bottom of the stairs
    by Nemorino
  • 4. From the roof of Beaubourg - Paris
      4. From the roof of Beaubourg
    by Nemorino
  • 5. From Tour Chambord - Paris
      5. From Tour Chambord
    by Nemorino

This is my nomination for the ugliest building in Paris.

Or at least the ugliest prominent building. Paris like all cities has numerous ugly buildings, but most of them are smaller and are tucked away in side streets where they only nauseate their immediate neighbors.

Sacré-Coeur, though, is certainly a prominent landmark, even for those of us who dislike the building and what it stands for. Looming above Paris from its position on a hilltop at the north end of the city, it can be seen from most places that have any sort of view at all, and it even serves a useful purpose for those who emerge disoriented from the Métro in some other part of the city and want to know which direction is north.

Like the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which has a similarly dominating position on a hill above the French city of Lyon, the construction of the Basilica Sacré-Coeur on Montmartre was begun in the troubled period of the 1870s to celebrate (or at least assert) the triumph of reactionary "Christian values" over the socialist aspirations of the Paris and Lyon communes.

In the words of Bertrand Taithe, Professor of Cultural History at The University of Manchester: "The reaction to the communes of Paris and Lyon were triumphalist monuments, the Sacré-Coeur of Montmartre and the Basilica of Fourvière, dominating both cities. These buildings were erected using private funds, as gigantic ex-votos, thanking God for the victory over the socialists and in expiation of the sins of modern France." (From the book Citizenship and Wars: France in Turmoil, 1870-1871 by Bertrand Taithe.)

Second photo: Looking up at Sacré-Coeur.

Third photo: Sacré-Coeur from the bottom of the stairs.

Fourth photo: I took this photo from the roof of the Centre Georges Pompidou a.k.a. Beaubourg, which is about three kilometers south of Sacré-Coeur.

Fifth photo: I took this photo from the balcony on the 28th floor of the Chambord Tower at the far south end of Paris. From there it is possible to see both Notre Dame (3.6 kilometers away) and Sacré-Coeur (up on a hill at a distance of 7.4 kilometers) if you look north between the nearby buildings.

If you promise not to be offended I?ll tell you what the Basilica Sacré-Coeur reminds me of. ? ? ?

What? You don?t promise not to be offended? In that case I won?t tell you, so you?ll never know.
(It wasn?t anything very nice, anyway.)

Next review from September 2011: Picnic by the Eiffel Tower

Address: 35, rue du Chevalier-de-la-Barre, 75018 Paris
GPS 48°53'12.12" North; 2°20'34.83" East
Since Sacré-Coeur is at the top of a rather steep hill, there are no Vélib' stations close by. The nearest, I suppose, would be station 18002 at 25 rue de Clignancourt. Or station 18006 at Place Saint Pierre.

Phone: +33 1 53 41 89 00
Website: http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 19, 2014
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