Saturday, September 22, 2012
Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre
The construction of the Basilica started in 1875 and ended in 1914. It was consecrated at the end of the First World War, in 1919.
The desire of building a Basilica atop the Montmartre hill came as a way to "expiate the crimes of the Communards" who started an insurrection in Montmartre in 1871, as a direct result of the capitulation of the French government in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. Paris was under siege during that period and the Parisians were not too happy about the French capitulation, thinking they had done their part fighting the Prussians. This climate of anger against the newly formed government led to the 1871 insurrection (called "Commune de Paris").
Montmartre is quite touristy but is well worth it, especially for the view it offers on the whole of Paris, below. One can take the funicular to get to the Basilica and take the stairs (featured in numerous movies/photos) to get back to the nearest Metro station ("Abbesses").