A church on the highest point of Paris (3)

Paris Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries

(cont'd...) The Basilique du Sacre Coeur is a Roman Catholic Church located in Montmartre district of the city. The washed-out white appearance of its exterior is from calcite-type rock material used in its construction. The fact that all cathedrals we've seen have their own individual characteristics, I found this one still stands out from the rest simply because of its imposing location.

The Montmartre and its surrounding area heading to the stairs leading up to the church is a motley canvas of colourful activities and things happening all at the same time: tourists and locals either mingling, haggling or simply trying to win a deal; shops abound at the sides of the alley showcasing their interesting items from window display.

Other vendors with their table and tarp shade that partially encroached the pedestrian alley were all busy doing their sales pitch to tourists passing by. That situation made it more difficult for everyone to pass through. Each table was full of bargain and souvenir items that a typical first timer like us would be enticed easily with a too-good-to-be-true offer. Good thing we had our cousin and friend with us; and there's even those young persistent vendors soliciting to fit me a multi-coloured band to my wrist and afterwards would ask for unreasonable amount of money. I was firm not to have one of those, and they moved away to look again for other tourist to engaged to in their one-way type of selling.

Going up to Basilica offers two options: a sweeping, wide, and steep stairs at the centre facing the Basilica or the motorised conveyor car lift located on further side.

We agreed to try the car going up. There was a long and slow line up, but we waited until we had our turn. It was the only car in operation at that time - I wasn't sure if there's more, so people basically had to wait for the car to come down. Since the capacity was somewhere between a dozen or two for each trip, it further helped build an even longer line up of people after we had gone up. There was a small fee that we had to pay, two Euro, I guess.   

The steep location of the church was evident from a strong and cool breeze I faced upon walking around the front open area of the Basilica. Lots of people I saw up there seemed to have the same exhilaration I was feeling at that time. But who would not? It is the highest point in whole Paris where you can afford to view city's impressing skyline.

 While enjoying the sight, I noticed a typical behaviour from other tourists that I, as a tourist myself, have been practising: as soon as someone gets a more advantageous spot to take pictures, others after him would be vying against each other to get their turn. Funny, but it's true.     

The Basilica's interior with its tall dome-shaped ceiling and several massive intricately-carved thick pillars had afforded me again to marvel at some centuries-old paintings and sculptures of Roman Catholic saints. The subdued lightings emanating from candles at every corner added to the solemn and tranquil atmosphere of the Basilica. Although not a Roman Catholic in religion, we still paid respect to this sacred place by sitting in a pew designated for praying, and started our silent reflection and thanksgiving. There were specific entry and exit doors provided that people can essentially just follow on the way out. Taking pictures was not allowed inside. TO BE CONTINUED...  

 

emmllerg says:
Enjoy your next vacation to Paris
Posted on: Jun 02, 2013
mga_galang_paa says:
Indeed... :)
Posted on: Nov 19, 2008
incognita456 says:
enchanting, isnt it?
Posted on: Nov 19, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
from a distance...
from a distance...
inside the car, going up...
inside the car, going up...
Sponsored Links
Paris
photo by: Sweetski