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The Church of the Sacred Heart of Balata

Churches in Fort de France, Martinique

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Balata
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Balata
© Source of pictures: Canva
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In the heart of the island of flowers stands a monument particularly emblematic of the history of Martinique: the church of the Sacred Heart of Balata. Nicknamed "the Montmartre of Martinique", it is a stopover not to be missed during your trip between Fort-de-France and the garden of Balata. 

A story of the heart

In 1902, Mount Pelee went into a devastating rage and ravaged everything around it during an unprecedented eruption. It forced the inhabitants of the surrounding villages to find a new home. Fort-de-France was then enriched by hundreds of new families. But this sudden influx of people gave rise to new needs. And among them, the need for a new church for the faithful of Foyal.

Thus, in 1915, the city decided to build a house of God. It entrusted the project to the architects Charles Wulffleff and Aloïs Verrey, who laid the first stone in 1924. One year later, the Sacred Heart Church of Balata opened its doors.

In addition to being the witness of the generosity of Martinique, it is the proof of the heart of its inhabitants. The church will be dedicated to the memory of the deceased soldiers of the First World War. 

A historic architecture

This Martinique building is a replica of the Sacred Heart Basilica in Paris, five times smaller. It has the same plan, the same dome, the same domes, the same side chapels...!

But the architects adapted it to its environment. Thus, this church of the Sacred Heart of Balata is a tropical reinterpretation of the Parisian monument and its Romanesque-Byzantine architecture: the reinforced concrete, more than popular at the time, is mixed with local andesite and the decoration is all mosaic.

If the attempt may seem daring, the result is no less worthy of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris. The inhabitants of the district are really proud of it. They are more than honoured to be able to worship in one of the most curious - and most sumptuous - places in Martinique.

A place worth seeing

This church of the Sacred Heart of Balata, you will have understood, is a real architectural and historical jewel. It is certain that it will not fail to delight all lovers of heritage. Thus, when you will make your stay in Martinique, you will not forget to make a stop there, which will be undoubtedly rich in discovery.

It is on your way to the garden of Balata that you will discover it. When you reach the top of Morne Savon, you will have the opportunity, in addition to looking at the church, to enjoy a breathtaking view of Fort-de-France and the surrounding nature.

But maybe you're not interested in the Balata Garden and its hundreds of tropical plants bursting with bounty. Or potentially you've already visited it. Then you should know that this church of the Sacred Heart of Balata is only 7 km away from Fort-de-France. Joining it will be for you the opportunity to walk in the middle of the luxuriant vegetation of Martinique. An additional chance to discover a little more of the treasures that it hides by the thousands.

The churches of the island of Martinique

  • The Church of the Sacred Heart of Balata

Some activities to do in Martinique