On Sunday I went to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, located on the butt Montmartre, the hightest point in Paris. This gorgeous white building has a view of a good chunk of Paris, which you really deserve after the climb. However, contrary to my guidebook, the climb really wasn’t that bad. There is a funicular you can take up if you want. I may be hardened by my recent travels to Greek monuments. The beautiful triple domes are quite different from the other churches you see in Paris with a distinct Byzantine/Roman style. The church was built over the course of about 40 years and is built of a white stone that actually exudes calcite constantly, which is how it keeps its pretty white color even among the pollution of a large city. In theory, the church is a penance for the crazy spending etc of the Second Empire, but over the years the church has acquired a wide range of symbolism for France, the Catholic Church in France and Paris in general. The church is one that practices the perpetual adoration of Eucharist, so you are supposed to be quiet and not take pictures inside…I was a bad person who just had to take a picture of the gorgeous mosaic above the altar. The perpetual adoration is a very important part of Catholicism, but one that is often very very important in French Catholicism. (this is what I learned from a pamphlet…)
This church was so beautiful inside, tastefully decorated with mosaics in brilliant colors that looked perfect against the white stone. It is my favorite of the churches I went to in Paris.