Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sacré-Cœur: The Sacred Heart

As a result of the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, the founders of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Christ -- Alexandre Legentil and Rohault de Fleury -- were driven to erect an immense basilica for worship, and construction began in 1875. The architects were inspired by the Romano-Byzantine style of St-Front in Périgueux. The church was completed in 1914, but it was not consecrated until 1919 after France was victorious over the German invasion.

Inside is the Great Mosaic of Christ, which follows the domed curvature of the ceiling above the altar and is distorted to realistic proportions as viewed by the congregation. The bell tower of the church of Sacré-Cœur stands 252 feet tall, and is the second-tallest building in Paris after the Eiffel Tower. Many statues and decorations adorn the building, and it can be seen that this building differs from the Gothic style of Notre Dame because the arches are rounded and the ceiling style is domed rather than vaulted.

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