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 DalĂ­, 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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