Perched high above the city, along cobbled stoned streets and winding alleyways sits the glorious Basilique du Sacré-Cœur.
Upon approach it was clear this place was special, so grand, immaculate in all it’s white, and such presence. Yet another magical element to this magnificent city, (the glory of its churches). I understand why so many pilgrims would hike these crazy hills to reach such a beautiful place of worship.
The church stands tall in the heart of Montmartre (the butte Montmartre) , once a principal artistic center of Paris. It was there in the mid-1800s artists such as Johan Jongkind and Camille Pissarro called home and by the end of the century, (with its counterpart on the Left Bank, Montparnasse) artist associations such as Les Nabis and the Incoherents were formed, (not to mention being a stones throw from the Moulin Rouge, where Toulouse-Lautrec designed those incredible posters). Yes, a religious experience all around, and one I will treasure forever.
So, how does the Basilica stay so stay white? … Sacré-Cœur is built of Travertine stone quarried in Chateau-Landon (Seine-et-Marne), France. This stone constantly exudes calcite, which ensures that the basilica remains white even with weathering and pollution.
And why is it called a Basilica? … The name Basilica is given to certain churches granted special privileges by the Pope.
Just a little trivia this somewhat sunny Sunday morning, see you next week! – Michele