Sacré-Cœur is a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and the socialist Paris Commune of 1871 crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular vision of a loving and sympathetic Christ.
The basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. The basilica was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919.
The basilica is accessible by bus. Buses 30, 31, 80, and 85 can be taken to the bottom of the hill of the basilica. Line 12 of the metro can be taken to Jules Joffrin station and visitors can then change to the Montmartrobus and disembark at Place du Tertre. Line 2 or 12 of the metro can be taken to Pigalle station where visitors can change to the Montmartrobus and disembark at Norvins, or to Anvers station which gives easy access to the steps or the funicular car that lead directly to the basilica. Normally the Abbesses (Paris Metro) station is a good choice as well, but the station’s elevators are out of service until September 2017 and the 130+ meter climb can be quite difficult for the infirm or elderly.
Sacré-Cœur is open from 06:00 to 22:30 every day. The dome is accessible from 09:00 to 19:00 in the summer and to 18:00 in the winter.