I should have had this post up a few months ago… SHAME but better late than never I always say. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris was my favorite thing about or last trip to Paris. Also known and commonly referred to the Sacre Coeur, it sits up on a hill in the highest point in Paris in the area of Montparnasse. I’ve always admired it in the distance while walking the streets of Paris, it’s always looked like a beautiful tired wedding cake while the domed tops and the gorgeous architecture. They say 24 hrs a day every day of the year, every year, someone is here in prayer.
I didn’t quite have the same overwhelming spiritual moment I had at the Milan Duomo Cathedral, but it was still an incredible experience. Being a sunday morning the crowds were thick from mass, and although it was early in the morning it still made the wait to the top of the tower a little longer. So be sure to take that into consideration when planning your trip there.
The stairs were a killer for me. I’m normally in great shape but that was when I started to get really sick on our 6 week Europe trip. Brian had been in and out of pharmacies a few times trying to find different medicines to make me feel better, and this was during the heatwave. We actually visited here the last day early in the morning before departing on our train.
I felt so bad, between the heat, the meds and the stairs I actually ended up collapsing in the Charles du Nord train station that afternoon. Staff members rushed me through security to let me lie down on the sofa in the first class air conditioned lounge, while I sipped water, which helped. It was definitely an adventure! I eventually got a little better but never fully got well until 2 weeks later at home.
As bad as I felt I really enjoyed walking around the beautiful church, l did take a photo inside but wanted to be respectful of the service. There was the main worship area and them several smaller worship areas around the main area forming a circle, it was stunning.
Outside to the left you can go up the stairs to the top, it’s a long spiral staircase that seems to go on forever with a few angles and turns. It was hard on me but I still wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!
Here’s the narrow viewing area at the top, it circles all the way around and the views are amazing! I really think these are some of the best views in Paris, yeah… even better than the top of the Eiffel Tower. Other people were up here with us but it never felt all that crowded, it was mostly just peaceful. I could just stare at the views for hours looking at all the architecture.
The grassy hill along the stairs is a terrific spot to rest, relax, or picnic. I love the French carousel at the bottom of the hill, it’s so charming! There are lots of great restaurants in the area, avoid the ones right across but walk a bit farther down the hill and you’ll find some great options, and Christophe Roussel a great macaron shop nearby.
You can plan your visit and find out a little more information at this website HERE. Next week I’ll be writing about the final part of our European trip about Scotland, it may need to be separated into 2 posts, and then I am DONE!! Enjoy the weekend!