The Sacré-Cœur Basilica is an immense basilica in a Roman-Byzantyne style, built as a national penance for the defeat of France in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War and the socialist Paris Commune of 1871. Construction of the Basilica started in 1876 with Abadie as the lead architect. When Paul Abadie died in 1884, he was succeeded by Lucien Magne, who added an 83 meter (272 ft) tall clock tower. The Savoyarde clock installed here is one of the world's largest. Construction was finished in 1914 and it was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919.
The organ was built by Cavaillé-Coll in 1898, originally ordered by baron de l’Espée for its Castle in Biarritz. He sold his organ a few years later to Charles Mutin and the Basilica acquired it in 1913. The instrument is housed in an organ case designed by architect Lucien Magne in 1914 and installed by Mutin, who added some mutations and mixtures. It was inaugurated in 1919. Restorations took place in 1930-1931 by Société Cavaillé-Coll, in 1948 by Jean Perroux and in 1959-60 by Beuchet-Debierre. During that restoration, the central part of the organcase was suppressed on demand of the clergy to expose the stained glass window behind the organ. This meant that the Montre had to be shifted and the swellcase of the Solo had to be divided into two parts (in 1985, the inferior part of the removed case was rebuild).
The latest restoration was in 1985 by Jean Renaud from Nantes.
This organ has various exceptional characteristics:
- three of four manuals are expressif
- it has manuals of 61 tones
- it has reeds on the Solo 'en chamade' of 16', 8', and 4' (high pressure, hidden behind the buffet)
Approx 70% of the pipes are of Cavaillé-Coll.
|Main builder||History||Latest restauration|
|1898 - Aristide Cavaillé-Coll||
1919 - Mutin
1930-31 - Société Cavaillé-Coll
1948 - Jean Perroux
1959 - Beuchet-debierre
|1985 - Renaud|
IV/79 - Mechanical traction with Barker machines
Titulaires: Claudine Barthel, Philippe Brandeis, Gabriel Marghieri.
Concerts: only Christmas Eve 10h pm
Masses with great organ: Friday 3h pm; sunday 11h am, 6h pm, 10h pm and evensong at 4 pm