Last week I was really excited to take a trip to Paris for a few days. One of the first things we visited when we arrived was the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart). The Sacre-Coeur is a Roman Catholic basilica, built in 1875-1914, and consecrated after the end of WWI in 1919. It's situated at the top of Montmarte- a hill 130 meters high. There is a funicular lift, but it's much more fun to climb up the many steps and be rewarded with the magnificent view at the top. Once you reach the top and are standing in front of the basilica, if you turn round and look down the steps you are greeted with a panoramic view of Paris. On a clear day you can just about see the Eiffel Tower from the Sacre-Coeur.
The basilica is decorated with the statues of French national saints Joan of Arc (right, holding the sword pointed upwards) and King Saint Louis IX (left). The door to the basilica is beautiful, as you can see below. Many tourists were having their picture taken by it.
You aren't allowed to take pictures inside the basilica, which is a shame as it is one of the most stunning religious buildings I have ever seen. The mural on the ceiling is incredible. It depicts God, Jesus with his arms outstretched, Mary, Gabriel and many saints in vibrant colour and detail. Around the back and the sides of the Sacre-Coeur there are all the other features you might expect from a Catholic church such as the stations of the cross, stained glass windows, a confessional, and many candles and places for silent worship.
If you're in Paris I would absolutely recommend a visit here. It's open daily 6am-11pm, so it's a good one for a after-dinner stroll. It's free to enter, but tickets for the crypt and dome are €5.
I had an amazing few days in Paris and managed to do an awful lot in a short space of time (including seeing the fireworks for Bastille day!). I'm really looking forward to posting the rest of the photos here soon.