Paul Abadie, the architect of Sacré Coeur


Paul Abadie was born on November, 9th of 1812 in Paris. Unknown to the general public, he worked on some of the most famous Paris landmarks, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sacré Coeur! Nowadays, the Sacré Coeur is one of the most visited monuments of Paris, alongside the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower!

Paul Abadie was the son of an architect that gave him his own name. He followed in his father’s footsteps, to whom we owe the Palais de Justice of Angoulême. In this city, Paul Abadie, the son, was the architect of the town hall, after participating in the renovation of many church buildings, including the Notre Dame de Paris!

Read on and learn more about Paul Abadie, the architect of Sacré Coeur!

Both father and son were architects

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Angoulême, Charente: Palais de Justice, Paul Abadie père, 1826. Marie-Hélène Cingal. December, 2nd, 2016.

Paul Abadie, the architect of Sacré Coeur, was the son of an architect. He bears the same name as his father, who was famous for his works in the city of Angoulême, such as the Palais de Justice in 1826 or the church Saint-Jacques de l’Houmeau, which was built in 1840 in a Neo-Romanesque architectural style that later inspired his son for his own projects.

At that time, Paul Abadie was already following in his father’s footsteps and attended a course in the Fine Arts school, a famous academy in Paris, of which he later became a member in 1875.

Father and son actually worked together. In 1849, Paul Abadie hired his father as an inspector of diocesan buildings in Angoulême. Diocesan buildings are those that are places of worship or belong to the Church.

Paul Abadie was a diocesan architect

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Paul Abadie may have started his career as an auditeur of the civilian buildings Council, from 1840 to 1845, but he soon started working for diocesan projects. Then, in 1845, he was appointed to a position as second inspector of the restoration works of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Four years later, he was assigned to architect of the dioceses for the cities of Angoulême, Périgueux, Cahors, and was appointed as an auditor for the commitee of arts and church buildings.

Paul Abadie worked in many projects, and contributed to the restoration of more than forty churches before becoming General Inspector of diocesan buildings in 1872. He reached the pinnacle of his career in July of 1874 when he became the diocesan architect of Paris.

Paul Abadie is the mind behind the Sacré Coeur

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Paul Abadie won the competition, that was organized by the Cardinal Joseph Hippolyte Guibert, for the construction of a new religious building in the city of Paris, at the top of Montmartre!

We owe him the famous Sacré Coeur Basilica, his greatest achievement, that was inspired by the Roman-Byzantine style of buildings such as the Cathédrale Saint-Front in Périgueux, for which he launched the renewal works a few years before.

The construction of the Sacré Coeur started in June of 1875. The first cornerstone was laid in the presence of the President of the time, the Marshal Mac-Mahon.

Unfortunately, Paul Abadie never got to see his project completed. He died in August of 1884 in Chatou, almost forty years before the end of the works of the Sacré Coeur!

A few more articles you will find interesting to discover Paul Abadie’s work in Paris

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In short, Paul Abadie has worked in many diocesan buildings during his life in different cities of France, but the Sacré Coeur is most definitely his most famous project!

While in Paris, you will get to visit this phenomenal basilica. But since you’ve been introduced to the architect, you should also get a few more details on the Sacré Coeur itself.

Read this article to learn everythings about the construction of the church! From the context of its construction to the different features of the Sacré Coeur, you will know everything! Once you get to the top of the hill, you will be able to enjoy the view over the city completely, because you will already know practically all about the spectacular monument!

If you want to read a fun article about the Sacré Coeur, check my top 10 fun facts about the Sacre-Coeur. It provides several interesting facts about the basilica that most people (even locals) don’t know about! For instance, do you know how the Sacré Coeur keeps its whiteness over the years and through the bad weather? Find out in my article!

You’ve now been introduced to Paul Abadie, the architect of the Sacré Coeur! His career as architect was mostly based on diocesan buildings and renovation works for church buildings, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral!

It is important to acknowledge his talent because he gave the city of Paris one of its greatest landmarks! You will love it! Once you reach the top of the hill of Montmartre, visit the splendid basilica that overlooks the romantic city of Paris. Learn about its history. Then, once you’re out, appreciate the view, cherish the moment, because I guarantee you this will probably be one of the highlights of your stay in Paris!

The atmosphere of Montmartre is so unique and inspiring! So, enjoy! If you need further information about anything, feel free to contact us! Also, I hope to see you in one of our tours so we can walk the city together ! :)

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