Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sacre Coeurs Photograph From Nearby Hi-Rise Rooftop - Finally, An Eye Level View...

Sacre Coeurs shot from a nearby Hi-Rise rooftop - Finally, and eye level view... - John Brody PhotographyI met a great French woman on the subway on the day I was heading up to Montmartre to shoot Sacre Coeur Basilica. We hit it off and talked about photography and her work as a clothing designer. When we got off the subway and climbed the stairs to the street level near Sacre Couers, she was trying to tell me something, but with her moderate English and my zero French, I couldn't understand. I finally waved, smiled and started to walk away. She literally grabbed me by my sleeve and dragged me in a direction away from my destination - I, of course, gave in and followed... she obviously knew something I didn't.

A couple blocks and a few elevators later, she walked me though her office space and out on to a rooftop patio that had a stunning 180 degree view, the centerpiece being Sacre Coeur directly in front of me. She saw my thrilled look, gave me a hug, waved me out onto the patio and disappeared to get on with running her business. A couple hours and a couple hundred photos later I found her in her design studio, thanked her hugely, got another hug and headed on my way... Whoever started that rumor that the french are rude and arrogant experienced a different France than I did. Kindness like this lady's is common and I had nothing but good experiences.

One warning about Sacre Coeur... Don't go there on weekends or holidays. On weekends ALL streets near Sacre Coeur look like the photo below, so adjust your schedule accordingly.

On weekends ALL streets near Sacre Coeur look like this... Adjust your schedule accordingly - John - John Brody Photography - Click for Larger Image

A bit of Sacre Coeur history:
Montmartre is a hill which is 130 meters high, giving its name to the surrounding district, in the north of Paris in the 18th arrondissement, a part of the Right Bank. Montmartre is primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacre Coeur on its summit and as a nightclub district. The other, older, church on the hill is Saint Pierre de Montmartre, which claims to be the location at which the Jesuit order of priests was founded. Many artists had studios or worked around the community of Montmartre such as Salvador Dalí, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. Montmartre is also the setting for several hit films.

Sacre Coeur, the full name being The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Paris, France. An extremely popular landmark (see my crowd photo above for proof of this), the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. The view is beautiful from the top, but it's not for the weak of leg or large in size - I could barely force my way through some of the stairways during my ascent.

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  • Not Photoshop - Glass Cover on Art Gallery Chopin Painting Reflected Paris Street and Archtecture

    Glass Cover on Art Gallery Chopin Painting Reflected Paris Street and Archtecture - -

    A real simple shot I couldn't pass up - Walking by a painting of Chopin by Delecroix I notice the reflection of the buildings and the classic Paris architecture. When I focused my camera on the reflection instead of the painting, the street scene became dominant and Chopin faded into a transluscent image that seemed to be watching over his chosen new city. Just a change of look from a straight photo...

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  • A Twilight View And Some Interesting Facts on the Eiffel Tower ... John Brody Photography at

    Eiffel Tower Paris - A Twilight View of the Classic Landmark... - -

    Every time I see the picture of Hitler below, it puts a knot in my stomach, but it's a reality, and a piece of history so I include it as such... Again, Wikipedia "Upon the German occupation of Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut by the French so that Adolf Hitler would have to climb the steps to the summit. When visiting Hitler in Paris 1940 - Click for Larger Image and GalleriesParis, Hitler chose to stay on the ground. A Frenchman scaled the tower during the German occupation to hang the French flag. In August 1944, when the Allies were nearing Paris, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz, the military governor of Paris, to demolish the tower along with the rest of the city. Von Choltitz disobeyed the order. Some say Hitler was later persuaded to keep the tower intact so it could later be used for communications. The lifts of the Tower were working normally within hours of the Liberation of Paris."

    A bit more Wikipedia info I found interesting: The Eiffel Tower is a 1889  tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris that has become global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tallest building in Paris, it is the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people  per year. Named for its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built in 1887 to 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution.

    The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building and it surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. The tower has become the most prominent symbol of both Paris and France, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city.

    The photo of Hitler in front of the Eiffel Tower is from the National Archives and is a public domain image. The photo at top is by me, John Brody Photography :-)