Be still my Sacred Heart

We had seen it from the Eiffel Tower.

We had seen it from the Arc de Triomphe.

We had seen it from the Musée d’Orsay.

We had even seen it from the Centre Pompidou.

Montmartre is the tallest hill in Paris and the Sacre-Coeur Basilica perched on the summit is visible from pretty much anywhere once you get above the roof line. The question was, what was the view like from the top?

In a word, breathtaking. And not just because by the time you’re at the top you have 300 steps of spiral staircase and narrow paths across the roof behind you. No, the view from the dome was really captivating to me because I could see many of the places I had visited in the last couple weeks and put them in relation to each other. From here, the city didn’t look anywhere near as big as it does when you’re down there.

Comparatively, the Basilica is fairly new – construction began in 1875 and completed in 1914. But this is a place that has been religiously significant for many centuries. Some of that history is detailed on the Basilica’s website.


October 2013

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