Sacre-Coeur BasilicaNapoleon III played right into the hands of the Prussians and gave them cause to go to war against France. As the Prussians marched through France to lay siege to Paris, two businessmen vowed that they would build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ if France survived the Prussian onslaught.

The men were true to their word. In 1874, the nation began construction on the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur as a guilt offering, but it wouldn’t be complete until right before the Germans threatened the city with utter destruction again in World War I.

The church is peppered with nationalistic symbols from the presence of France’s saints to great bell from Savoy which was annexed in 1860.

Because of it’s perch at the top of butte Montmartre, the Basilica’s dome is the second highest point in Paris. It stands as a counterpoint to the Eiffel Tower to the southwest.

Architectural Style: Romanesque-Byzantine

Architect:  Paul Abadie

Completion: 1914 (consecrated in 1919)

Address: Pl. du Parvis-du-Sacré-Coeur, 18e, Paris, France

Sacré CœurInterior, Sacre Coeur Basilica

Sources: Wikipedia, Sacred Destinations, and Paris (Eyewitness Travel Guide)