Basilique du Sacré-Cœur
Lonely Planet review for Basilique du Sacré-Cœur
Crowning the Butte de Montmartre (Montmartre Hill), Sacred Heart Basilica was built from contributions pledged by Parisian Catholics as an act of contrition after the humiliating Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. Construction began in 1876, but the basilica was not consecrated until 1919. In a way, atonement here has never stopped; a perpetual prayer ‘cycle’ that began at the consecration of the Basilica continues round the clock to this day.
Some 234 spiralling steps lead you to the basilica’s dome, which affords one of Paris’ most spectacular panoramas – up to 30km on a clear day. Weighing in at 19 tonnes, the bell called La Savoyarde in the tower above is the largest in France. The chapel-lined crypt, visited in conjunction with the dome, is huge.
If you don’t want to walk the hill, you can use a regular metro ticket aboard the funicular.