Church of the Madeleine in Paris

Looking at some older posts, I realize have not written a piece on the Church of the Madeleine in Paris. I did spoke about in posts ,but not one dedicated to this wonderful Church ,that was my walking by to work direction for over two years in Paris!

Many nice memories of stopping by at the shops around it from Lavinia, to Nicolas, Hédiard, Fauchon, Maison madame de Sevigny,  the lower level stores and my rest stops at the café madeleine just looking at it. Some of these shops are no longer there like Sevigny but the spirit rest the same.

First, the Paris tourist office has something on it here:

And in French , the parish site has a lot more here :

The brief on it is that it was ordered to built a Church here since 1764 to provide a nice ending to the Rue Royale facing the Bourbon palace! In 1806, Napoléon, change the plans in order to provide a temple to the glory of the French armies… The building with columns was to resembled those in Athens; the Church once again dedicated to religious worship was finally finished in 1842.

It is an imposing appearance of a classical temple with 350 feet long(108 meters) by 140 feet (43 meters)wide surrounded by 52 Corinthians columns each measuring 64 feet (20 meters). There are no external bells or cross to show this is a Church but in the bronze doors (3 tons) you see bas reliefs of the Ten Commandments and the niches hold 52 Saints inside. The interior has a vast nave of about 260 feet long (79 meters) with three bays surrounded by flattened domes . Two beautiful sculptures  such as “The Rapture of Mary Magdalene” in marble ,and “The Baptism of Christ“, on the surface of the dome you will see a fresco covering about 23 feet of “The history and Glorification of Christianity” .  This is the only fresco in a Church in Paris where you see the figure of Napoleon, surrounded around the Christ, Mary Magdalene ,and the apostles the great personage that marked Christianity such as Constantine, Clovis, Godefroy de Bouillon, Frederick Barberousse, Jeanne d’Arc, Dante, Raphaël, Pius VII , and the emperor in sacred costume.

There are music concerts here with an organ from 1846 ,they are held on Sundays at 16h; this is the site for info in French :

There are two important persons buried in the Church. These are Pierre-Alexandre Vignon (1763-1828) principle architect of the Church who expressed in his last will and testament to be buried here. And, Abbey Déguere, (1794-1871) priest of the Church who gave the first communion to the Imperial Prince Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; and was executed by the communards in the rebellion of 1871 in the house of arrest of the rue d’Haxo.

The Church sits on the wonderful Place de la Madeleine, where a flower market was held since 1834, and there still is places there today as well as the before mentioned stores.

One of the icon monuments of France and a must on a visit to Paris. I know too many most but this is Paris ::) Cheers

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