By: Jeanette Gu P5


The Basilica of the Sacred Heart

-Roman Catholic Church

-Location: crowns Montmartre Hill which is the highest point in Paris

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Inspiration/Religious Connections

-In 1870: war broke out between Germany and France

-France's defeat and German occupation of the country inspired

-initiative of Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury

-vowed to build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as penalty for infidelity and sin

-believed misfortunes of France during this had spiritual instead of political causes (punishment for their sins)

-Vow was made in Basilica (part of Vow)

«“In the presence of the misfortunes that have befallen France and the greater misfortunes that perhaps still threaten her.

In the presence of the sacrilegious attacks committed in Rome against the rights of the Church and the Holy See and against the sacred person of the Vicar of Jesus Christ.
We humble ourselves before God and uniting in our love both Church and Fatherland, recognize that we have sinned and been justly punished.
And to make honorable amends for our sins and obtain through the infinite mercy of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ pardon for our faults, as well as the extraordinary help that alone can deliver the Holy Pontiff from his captivity and put an end to the misfortunes of France, we hereby promise to contribute to the construction, in Paris, of a sanctuary dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”»

-this became a national vow later

Date and Description

-February 1st - June 30, 1874: competition between applying architects to select best construction plan, Paul Abadie was selected

-did not live to see church completed, six others succeeded after him in order to get the job done

-succeeded by Lucien Magne, added an 83 meter (272 ft) tall clock tower, Savoyarde clock installed here is one of the world's largest

-June 16, 1875: first stone laid down, made from exterior travertine stone

-in wet weather, calcite in this stone gives the building a chalky white appearance

-followed by several months of foundation works, had to dig pits 33 meters deep which were then filled by pillars that were the support of the building, without these, the Basilica would have sunk down into soil

-fully completed in 1914... took 39 years give or take (consecration postponed until 1919, after World War 1)

-there is private mass, sanctuary of prayer, Catholic Church

Fun Facts

-view from tower is the second highest viewpoint in Paris (1st goes to Eiffel Tower), tower is 83 meters high, combined with hill is 213 meters in Paris

-Novembre 20, 1895: largest bell in France is cast and donated, "La Savoyarde", (artist's representation above), weighs 18,835 kg which is about 20.8 US tons

-mural of Jesus Christ is 475 square meters wide, one of the largest mosaics in the world

-depicts adorers, saints, the Virgin Mary, and other well-known religious figures

-Sacré Coeur hosts more than 11.5 million visitors each year, France's second most visited church after Notre-Dame cathedral

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