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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris, commonly known as Sacre Coeur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France. A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. The details of Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris are explained in world tour guides below.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of JesusThe inspiration for the Basilica originated in the wake of the division in French society that arose in the decades following French Revolution, between devout Catholics and legitimist royalists on one side, and democrats, secularists, socialists and radicals on the other. This schism became particularly pronounced after the Franco Prussian War and the ensuing uprising of the Paris Commune of 1870-71. The Basilica is asserted to be dedicated in honor of the 58,000 who lost their lives during the war, the decree of the Assemblee nationale, 24 July 1873, responding to a request by the archbishop of Paris by voting its construction.

Montmartre had been the site of the Communes first insurrection, and many hard core communards were forever entombed in the subterranean galleries of former gypsum mines where they had retreated, by explosives detonated at the entrances by the Army of Versailles. Hostages had been executed on both sides, and the Communards had executed Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, who became a martyr for the resurgent Catholic Church. His successor Guibert, climbing the Butte Montmartre in October 1872, was reported to have had a vision, as clouds dispersed over the panorama It is here, it is here where the martyrs are, it is here that the Sacred Heart must reign so that it can beckon all to come.

In the moment of inertia following the resignation of the government of Adolphe Thiers, 24 May 1873, Francois Pie, bishop of Poitiers, expressed the national yearning for spiritual renewal the hour of the Church has come that would be expressed through the Government of Moral Order of the Third Republic, which linked Catholic institutions with secular ones, in a project of religious and national renewal, the main features of which were the restoration of monarchy and the defense of Rome within a cultural framework of official piety, of which Sacre-Coeur is the chief lasting triumphalist monument.

The overall style of the structure shows a free interpretation of Romano-Byzantine features, an unusual architectural vocabulary at the time, which was a conscious reaction against the neo-Baroque excesses of the Opera Garnier, which was cited in the competition. Many design elements of the basilica symbolise nationalist themes the portico, with its three arches, is adorned by two equestrian statues of French national saints Joan of Arc and King Saint Louis IX, both executed in bronze by Hippolyte Lefebvre and the nineteen ton Savoyarde bell, cast in 1895 in Annecy, alludes to the annexation of Savoy in 1860.

Abadie died not long after the foundation had been laid, in 1884, and five architects continued with the work Honore Daumet, Jean Charles Laisne, Henri-Pierre-Marie Rauline, Lucien Magne, and Jean-Louis Hulot. The Basilica was not completed until 1914, when war intervened the basilica was formally dedicated in 1919, after World War I, when its national symbolism had shifted.

Construction costs estimated at 7 million French francs and drawn entirely from private donations, were expended before any above-ground visible structure was to be seen. A provisional chapel was consecrated 3 March 1876, and pilgrimage donations quickly became the mainstay of funding. Donations were encouraged by the expedient of permitting donors to purchase individual columns or other features as small as a brick. It was declared by the National Assembly that the state had the ultimate responsibility for funding. Construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914, although consecration of the basilica was delayed until after World War I.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of JesusBasilica of the Sacred Heart of JesusThe basilica is home to a large and very fine pipe organ built by Aristide Cavaille Coll for a private home in Biarritz, composed of 109 ranks and 78 speaking stops spread across four 61-note manuals and the 32-note pedalboard, spread across three expressive divisions the organ was ahead of its time, containing multiple expressive divisions and giving the performer considerable advantages over other even larger instruments of the day. It was almost identical to the instrument in Sheffield's Albert Hall, destroyed by fire in 1934. However, when installed in Paris in 1905 by Cavaille Colls successor and son-in-law, Charles Mutin, it lost its fine case for a much plainer one.

In response to requests from French bishops, Pope Pius IX promulgated the feast of the Sacred Heart in 1856. The basilica itself was consecrated on 16 October 1919. Since 1885, the Blessed Sacrament has been continually on display in a monstrance above the high altar. Perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has continued uninterrupted in the Basilica since 1885. Because of this, tourists and others are asked to dress appropriately when visiting the basilica and to observe silence as much as possible, so as not to disturb persons who have come from around the world to pray in this special place.

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