Sacré-Coeur, Paris│The basilica of Sacré-Cœur, located in the 18th arrondissement, is one of Paris’ most visited monuments. It can be seen, for miles, on top of the hill of Montmartre, and shares a resemblance with the Taj Mahal in India. This popular landmark, is found at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. ‘Sacré-Cœur’ means ‘Sacred-Heart’ in English and refers to the heart of Jesus, which is the representation of his divine love for humanity.
The church was built atop the hill of Montmartre at a height 130 metres above sea-level. The bell tower and the dome are 83 m high, which makes it the second-highest point in Paris after the Eiffel Tower (324 m) and just before the Montparnasse Tower (210 m). Almost 12 million people visit this sight each year. The Sacré-Cœur basilica is France’s second most visited church after Notre-Dame cathedral.
Access inside the church is free but there is a charge for going up to the dome. If you have time, it is definitely a good idea to explore the interior of the church. However, DO NOT miss the chance to go to the top of the dome. You have to climb about 300 stairs which spiral upwards, so this is not the place for a stroller or young children. From the top of the dome there is a breathtaking view of Paris which extends to La Défense, the Eiffel Tower, the Montparnasse Tower, the Panthéon, the Bois de Vincennes, the Buttes-Chaumont and the basilica of Saint-Denis. With a pair of binoculars. there probably isn’t a monument in Paris that can’t be seen.
When we arrived at Sacra-Coeur, and saw the long queue of people shuffling into the front door, we immediately knew that it would be better to split up here. Mommy went into the church, and then up to the top of the dome. Eli and daddy took this opportunity to talk around the exterior, and then relax on the grass and watch the live music. From where they sat, they too had spectacular views of the city.
Without a doubt, we don’t enjoy having to separate. But when we are traveling in peak season we know that sometimes we have to pick our battles. The crowds are thick and sometimes overwhelming. Plus we don’t want to exhaust Eli with too much. He needs chances to stretch his legs and be free. Rather than miss the opportunity to see some of these incredible landmarks, we split up.
One of my highlights of Paris!
Above, one of my highlights of our time in Paris was walking around this dome of the Sacra-Coeur. It was so peaceful, with incredible views. I looked over the grounds and knew that Justin and Eli were probably sitting on the grass or stairs pictured below. There were many people climbing up to the top of the dome. However, when I got up to the top, it wasn’t crowded.
When I started to miss my boys too much, I made my way back down to ground level. I found Justin and Eli with masses, chilling in the sun and listening to a man singing and playing guitar.
We highly recommend a trip to the basilica of Sacré-Cœur, and also thorough the Montmartre neighborhood. Yesterday I did a post on this famous area of Paris, and you can check that out here. This was one of our top days in Paris!