Rome Newsroom, Oct 28, 2020 / 11:00 am
Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris is expected to be classified as a protected historic monument by France’s Minister of Culture.
The Catholic basilica, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is one of the most visited sites in Paris, and since August 1, 1885, has been home to perpetual Eucharistic adoration.
“The Sacré-Cœur is one of the symbols of Paris,” Laurent Roturier, the director of France’s cultural affairs office, said. “It has been the most-visited building in Paris since Notre-Dame has been in repair.”
“But even more astonishing is that it is not protected as a historic monument. This is a sign of the slow recognition of 19th-century architecture,” he added.
The basilica celebrated the 100th anniversary of its consecration last year. Before the coronavirus pandemic, it received an average of 10 million visitors per year.
It sits on Paris’ second-highest hill, Montmartre, the site of the torture and martyrdom of St. Denis and companions. The first stone of the basilica was laid in 1875, with the basilica’s inauguration taking place in 1891. The bell tower was finished in 1914.
There is a widespread belief that Sacré-Cœur was built in expiation of the violence which took place during the Paris Commune, a socialist and anti-religious revolutionary government that ruled the city of Paris for just over two months in 1871.
But French historian Patrick Sbalchiero told Le Figaro this is a “historical error.”