Monday, May 12, 2014

Postcard from...Paris, France

I can't believe it took until my fourth visit to Paris to actually make it to Montmarte to see the breathtaking Basilique du Sacré Coeur. What was I waiting for?

It's not hard to find the basilica as it sits in the 18e arrondissement atop the the butte Montmarte, which is the highest point in the city, and offers a great vantage point to look down over the whole city and take some great photos or just sit and people watch. It's also in a very vibrant part of town (though really what part of Paris doesn't feel like that?) with street artists and galleries to take in.

Construction of the Basilica started in 1876 with Paul Abadie as the lead architect. When he died in 1884, he was succeeded by Lucien Magne, who added an 83 meter (272 ft) tall clock tower. The Savoyarde clock installed here is one of the world's largest. Construction was completed in 1914 and it was consecrated in 1919 after the end of WWI.

How does Sacré-Coeur manage to stay such a beaming white colour amid the air pollution of a big city like Paris? This can be attributed to the Château-Landon stones that were used to build it. When it rains, the stones react to the water and secrete calcite, which acts like a bleacher. Ingenious!

Photo taken July 17, 2011


  1. Beautiful photo! I don't feel so bad that we missed Basilique du Sacré Coeur on our one trip to Paris. Next time!

    Do you know about Paulita's Dreaming of France meme on Mondays? I'm sure she'd love it if you linked up this post. Here's her post for today:

  2. Lovely photo! I think the Basilique is one of my favorite places in Paris - the view is stunning and the surrounding area is definitely fun to explore :) I did always wonder how they kept it white (I never did the formal tour) so that's cool to know!