Making our way home on the first day we took the twelve line to Abbesses and walked up to Pl. St Pierre. Then a quick ride to the top on the funicular and several hundred steps later we were looking out over Paris in the afternoon light.
The climb up to the basilica roof is through a series of winding staircases and narrow passages that culminates in a narrow open gallery that circumscribing the basilica roof. This all combining to give you simultaneously a mild feeling of claustrophobia, agoraphobia and acrophobia. Worth it though.
The cathedral has a history; built to expiate the sins of the Paris commune not as many think the French loss in the Franco Prussian war, it lies over the entombed bodies of the communards trapped in the gypsum mines beneath Montmartre when the Army of Versaille demolished the entrances.
There is something about the architecture of Sacre Coeur that hearkens to the East with its Romano-Byzantine style. To me it always looks like a corner of Constantinople has been picked by a giant and plonked down on the hill of Montmartre.