Explore Paris The islands The Champs-Élysées and around The Louvre The Opéra district Beaubourg and around The Marais Bastille The 12e arrondissement Quartier Latin St-Germain The Eiffel Tower quarter Southern Paris The Beaux Quartiers Montmartre and around La Villette and around The eastern districts Around Paris Share Crowning the Butte Montmartre is the Sacré-Coeur with its iconic ice-cream-scoop dome. Construction of this French–Byzantine confection was started in the 1870s on the initiative of the Catholic Church to atone for the “crimes” of the Commune. Square Willette, the space at the foot of the monumental staircase, is named after the local artist who turned out on inauguration day to shout “Long live the devil!”. Today the staircase acts as impromptu seating for visitors enjoying the views over Paris, munching on picnics and watching the street entertainers; the crowds only increase as night falls. You can also get stunning views from the top of the dome, which takes you almost as high as the Eiffel Tower.