(b. 1812, Paris, d. 1884, Chatou)

Exterior view

Sacré-Coeur, Paris

In 1874 Abadie won the competition to build the Eglise du Voeu National au Sacré-Coeur, the celebrated basilica in Montmartre, Paris. This was to be erected to fulfil a vow that had been made at the time of France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. Abadie's project, which has been rather hurriedly described as Romanesque Byzantine, represents, in the reworking of the Romanesque style of south-west France, the outcome of formal research by the restorer and the builder.

Work began in 1875, the year in which Abadie was elected to the Institut de France. The basilica was not completed until around 1919, long after the architect's death, with modifications to the original plan that varied in significance according to the personalities of his successors.

With this monument, Abadie gave the Romanesque Revival its most notable expression and gave a decisive victory to the 'diocésains', a group composed mostly of rationalists that grew up under the influence of Viollet-le-Duc.