Have you ever noticed the immaculate whiteness of the Sacré Coeur ? Have you ever wondered how this monument could retain such whiteness ?
Stone from Chateau-Landon
The Basilica of the Sacré Coeur of Montmartre is one of the most emblematic monuments of Paris. Perched at the top of the hill, it hides a dark history, forgotten by the millions of tourists who visit it each year. Another secret lies in its stone: its whiteness. Its construction followed the vote of a law in the National Assembly in 1873 which aimed to erect a temple dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, in order to obtain forgiveness for the faults committed in recent years, in particular the crimes of the communards, and the homage to the citizens who died during the Franco-Prussian war. Beginning in 1876, construction was completed in 1914, then consecrated in 1919. Its architecture, in the Romano-Byzantine style, was not unanimous in the eyes of Parisians who found that the building denoted with the environment. This does not prevent the basilica from being one of the most visited monuments in the capital. The architect of the Sacré-Coeur had the rich idea of using stone from Chateau-Landon, used in particular for the construction of the Pont Alexandre III or the Arc de Triomphe.
A magic stone
This stone, coming from the quarries of Souppes-sur-Loing, has indeed remarkable characteristics. Endowed with incredible resistance, it also has the particularity of being non-spongy, that is to say that water does not infiltrate it.
On the contrary, the water is even beneficial for the basilica ! Who would have believed it, each rain shower gives a little beauty to the Sacré-Coeur. The reason ? The famous Chateau-Landon stone secretes a white substance on contact with water, cullet, which flows along the walls of the building before hardening in the sun. We hold the secret of the monument’s youth and the reason why it has never been renovated!