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Paris A City With More Sites Than Any Other

Mar 2, 2008
When your trip is limited however, the best bet is to try to visit the sites that encompass as many interests as possible the sacre-coeur basilica is just such a site. Centrally located with many hotel options in the area, one may pay as little as $20 for a hostel or $500 plus for a luxury five star hotel.

Paris has undergone a huge clean up in the last few decades however many of the buildings are extremely antiquated as are their facilities; accommodation is no exception to this. It is particularly important in Paris to follow recommendations or to be sure to see a room before you pay for it. Of course the top tier of hotel accommodation requires no such safeguards.

The construction of the building began in 1876, on Montmarte, it was not completed however until 40 years later. Montmarte is one of the highest hills in Paris providing a phenomenal view over the city both from the basilica itself and its expansive cascading gardens. The site however was not chosen for its view but rather for it's significance. It was in this spot that tradition tells us Saint Denis, the patron saint of Paris was beheaded in the third century.

Tradition tells that the Bishop Denise after being beheaded stood up, took his head and carried it a number of miles north to the current location of the city of Saint Denise it was of course this act that gained him his canonization.

A Roman Catholic basilica designed by the architect Paul Abadie it's Romanesque-Byzantine style is both apparent and breathtaking. The iconography found inside is highly nationalistic reflecting the period of building and its sponsorship by national subscription that reflected the nations hopes for future power, something that escaped it at the time yet ironically a reality by the time of the basilicas inauguration in 1919.

The architectural features are truly spectacular both as individual pieces and the overall sense that they create. The triple arched portico of the faade play perfect host to the bronze statues mounting them of Joan or Arc and King Saint Lous IX, the national saints of France.

The stone used for the building is Chateau-Landon stone, which explains the perfect whiteness of the building as this type of stone looses its calcite through weathering creating an ongoing bleaching effect making the building whiter every year. The bell of the basilica, known as the Savoyarde was cast in 1895 in Annecy and weighing 19 tones it is one of the heaviest in the world. Yet another reminder of the rich history of France, which Savoy only became a part of in 1860. the interior itself has something for everyone, in addition to the iconography are the golden mosaics including the mosaic of Christ in Majesty which can be found in the apse and measures as one of the biggest mosaics in the world, equaled in beauty by the mural of Christ's passion visible behind the alter.

The dome itself is the only part of the basilica that it costs to enter, but if you can face the steps the view from the top is out of this world. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground however, the expansive grounds with tailored gardens and impressive water features are equally worthwhile.

Accessible via the Metro stops Anvers or Abbesses, or on bus numbers 30, 54, 80, or 85 the basilica is open between 6am and 11 pm, and worship is undertaken daily as it has been every day since the day of its inauguration.
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