Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre Tour with Expert Guide
- Duration options: 1 - 2 hours
With its stunning façade, impressive interior, and breathtaking views over Paris, the "Sacred Heart" is as popular among locals as it is tour groups. Here are a few interesting facts to help better understand its relationship with the city.
With the French defeated, Bishop Fournier claimed God had punished the country for "a century of moral decline" since the revolution. The basilica was built to expiate Paris' sins!
Paris' highest point didn't always swarm with tourists and bohemians. Its original abbey was razed during the revolution, and the site later saw the Paris Commune uprising in 1871.
Though the foundation stone was laid in 1875, the basilica took 29 years to build. With the outbreak of the First World War, the building wasn't consecrated until 1919.
Paul Abadie's Romano-Byzantine-influenced design was unusual at the time, but it was intended to counter the unabashed opulence of Paris' recently built opera house.
During the digging of its unusually deep foundations, a tooth was found and later identified as that of Palaeotherium – a previously undiscovered species of prehistoric tapir!
Access to the Sacré-Cœur is free! A tour can help you make the most of your visit, but note that, as a sanctuary for religious worship, guided tour groups aren't allowed inside the chapels.
The Sacré-Cœur is open to visitors between the hours of 8:00AM and 8:00PM from May to September, and 9:00AM and 5:00PM from October to April.
Mass is held from Monday to Friday at 7:00AM, 11:15AM, 3:00PM (Friday only), 6:30PM, and 10:00PM. Weekend times are 7:00AM, 11:00AM, 6:00PM (Sunday only), and 10:00PM.
The easiest way to reach the Sacré-Cœur is by taking the Metro line 2 to Anvers. From there it is just a short walk to the funicular car, should the scenic walk through the hill's steep gardens appear too daunting! The hill can also be reached by bus routes 30, 31, 80, and 85.
Want to discover all there is to do in Sacre-Coeur Basilica? Click here for a full list.