Location: Paris, France
Architect: Paul Abadie (originally)
Material: Travertine from Château-Landon
The decision to construct the Sacré-Cœur Basilica was not only a religious one: Building a church was a symbol of the belief that the loss of France in the war against the Prussians in 1870 was a moral condemnation of the sins of Paris.
A competition was conducted, and the goal was to build an imposing Basilica true to Christian traditions. The winner was an architect named Paul Abadie, who designed the Basilica in the Roman-Byzantine style. Construction started in 1875, and Abadie was the lead architect until his death in 1884, after which Lucien Magne took over.
Owing to the Basilica located on the Montmartre hill, it overlooks the city of Paris. The highest point of Sacré-Cœur is higher than the tallest point of the Eiffel Tower, making it one of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris.
Even in such a city with an abundance of air pollution, the Basilica has managed to keep its pure white colour. This is mainly credited to the use of Château-Landon stones, which were used for its construction. When this stone reacts with rainfall, the calcite content acts like a bleacher.