Archive for July 5th, 2018

July 5, 2018

This is Paris: Church of Saint-Eustache !

Coming along on the wonderful Churches of Paris, and plenty in my blog on them. However, I need to put some apart on a single post and so the saga continues with a historical wonderful Church of Paris.

I am talking about the Church of Saint-Eustache. Saint-Eustache Church is located in the 1éme arrondissement or district in the heart of the neighborhood or quartier of Halles. The Meridian, meanwhile, lies above and to the left of the South Gate and measures 3 meters high. Its lines, carved in stone, show every quarter of an hour between 11h and 13h or 11am to 1pm.

In the summer season, the Church of Saint-Eustache is one of the most visited in Paris. Its location in the center of the capital, near the Forum des Halles, is not for nothing. If the exterior aspect is more classical (although the façade has nothing to seduce), the interior architecture-at first glance-is rather confusing.

In the 13C there was a chapel dedicated to St. Agnes. became with use, Saint-Eustache. Too small, it is replaced in the 16C by a large, 100 meters long, flamboyant Gothic-style Church. The plans and the architectural principles follow those of Notre-Dame de Paris. The first stone was laid in 1532, but the Church was actually completed only in 1640. Its construction was slowed down by the lack of funding, the nature of the land and the wars of Religion. Next to the Gothic, the interior offers many aspects of the Italian Renaissance.

At the French Revolution, Saint-Eustache was ransacked, transformed into a temple of agriculture, then returned to worship in 1803; victim of a fire in 1844, the Church was restored by Victor Baltard. Its famous Tribune organ, due to the croquet, dates from 1854.  Saint-Eustache contains a large number of 19C murals and some magnificent works of art (paintings and sculptures), such as the statue of the Virgin of the Child of Pigalle, one of the most beautiful in Paris.

An architectural point. The visitor entering the Church is immediately seized by the height of the vaults (33 meters) and the imposing vertical masses that permeate the entire building. The flamboyant gothic is found in the vaults of warheads, embellished with liernes, third parties and ubiquitous pendant keys. The style Renaissances’exprime in the juxtaposition of the ancient orders, the pillars that are flanked by pilasters, the arches in full hanger and, of course, in the abundant decoration on the Capitals (Seraphim, baskets of flowers, etc.). The Saint-Eustache has a vast canopy on three levels of elevation. The Church is so high that the first level of elevation is itself divided into two sublevels, materialized by a double row of stained glass windows.  Most of them are white glass. If one adds the large double door of the South brace, always open to illuminate the transept (in fact the passage is closed by a glass wall), Saint-Eustache is a very luminous Church. As the choir is in the east and there is no building in the South, the sun, in good weather, radiates the entire nave of its rays throughout the day.

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A historical fact, at its creation, the Chapel of the Virgin had a rich ornamentation in marble, in woodwork, in paintings. All this was ransacked or stolen from the French revolution. The chapel was restored in 1800 and, little by little, reembellished. In its center there is a magnificent sculpture of the Madonna and Child  by  Jean-Baptiste Pigalle . The painter Thomas Couture (1815-1879) enriched it with three great frescoes on the theme of the Virgin: “The triumphant Virgin adored by the Angels”; “The Virgin star of the sailors” and “the virgin comforter of the afflicted”. The style is remarkable as there are no figurism or symbolism and the Angels almost like human beings well in flesh. The gallery of stained Glass  gives a close-up picture of the altarpiece and its unusual series of vases.

Colbert was the churchwarden of the Church of Saint-Eustache. This mausoleum is considered to be a major work in 17C statuary. The artist used bronze and white and black marble. Colbert, seized in the attitude of a praying, is clad in his mantle of Commander of the Order of the Holy Spirit. To the left of the sarcophagus, fidelity, chiseled by Coysevox , and to the right, piety or abundance due to Jean-Baptiste Tuby.

The organs of Saint-Eustache are among the largest in France. Due to the croquet done in 1854, they were restored in 1989. The wood carving of the buffet (on a cardboard by Victor Baltard) is a pure splendor. The beauty of the characters and the rose in the background create a scenic magic that must be enjoyed with a pair of binoculars. Truly wonderful.

Yet some famous have a lot to do with the Church. Some of them are king  Louis XIV  received his  communion. Mozart, also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, (future Madame de Pompadour)  and Moliére, who was also married here in the 17C. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne, and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there. A truly historical Church of Paris, one of the must to visit.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are tourist office of Paris on Saint Eustache

Parish Church webpage in French on the history:

The Church Saint Eutache webpage in French:

Hope you enjoy the ride because visiting Paris is a ride into history, architecture, entertainment, love, and passions, Paris is eternal.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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July 5, 2018

The grandiose Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris!

What can I say about this on, huge inmense, grandiose, beautiful, the essence of Paris and Paris is eternal as Notre Dame. Well I have written before on it so will put the previous posts here and copy the text, you need to know it is here in my blog just hidden in almost 1500 posts ::)

There is another monument that brings the most crowds, but if there is one that identify the soul of Paris,France the most is the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. All the major events in history has gone by it or thru it,and one cannot possibly come to Paris without stopping for a visit here. Its a must.

The most you need are the specific sites for information on the Cathedral as the main site Cathédrale de Paris, 6, parvis Notre-Dame, 75004;Tel +33 01 42 34 56 10.the access is free and to visit the treasure of it is only 3€ everday from 7h35 to 18h main webpage– . The treasure by the southside of the choir on a narrow entry built by Viollet le Duc in 1850 houses amongst other things the passion relics,the palatine cross with fragments of the true cross of Christ, the linen shirt of Saint Louis, and the underwear of Pope Pie X .

The tours or towers is visited also. There are just behind on the side entrance at rue du cloîte Notre Dame,75004. Tel +33 01 53 10 07 00. open every day from 10h to 18h30 from april to september 30th.  From october to march until 17h30. Nighttime visits on summer from may to august until 23h. admission is 8€ free for under 18. webpage is

Built on the initiative of its bishop of Paris (1160 to 1196 AD) Maurice de Sully. The principal nave built between 1180-1220 AD is 60 meters long (198 ft) wide of 12,50 meters(41,25 ft) , and high of 33 meters(108,9 ft). The choir built between 1163-1177 AD is 36 meters long(118,8 ft) . The Cathedral continue to add and renovate until the building was completed by 1345 AD.

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Some of the items not to be missed are pointed out as exterior and interior but let me give some ideas looking at it from the outside, facing the cathedral at the parvis or central plaza ( where all kilometer distances are measure in France )  you look left to the tower Nord=North,the other extrems tower is the Sud=South; both of these towers with rosary windows of 13,10 meters ( 43.2 ft) beyond these towers you see the pointed arrow=flèche and right across it is the transept. As you come in to the cathedral you are at the portail de la vierge or virgen door looking at it from left to right, you continue with the portail du jugement dernier or final judgement door,the portail de Sainte Anne or Saint Anne door. Right above the doors you have the Galerie des Rois or gallery of kings, above it the Rose Occidentale or western rosary window and still higher you see the Grande Galerie or grand gallery. To your extreme right still looking facing the cathedral you see the Contreforts or holding scaffolds tower like figures and a side door, red door or porte rouge; following past this you are walking on the south side of the Cathedral you will find the Portail Saint Etienne or Saint Stephen door ,and right above it the Rose du croisillon sud (9,70 meters or 32 ft a gift from Saint Louis) . Continuing to the rear you will see the buttress arches acting as a counter to the weight of the main building. and right behind the Cathedral you will find the Chevet or apse.

Some of the famous buildings surrounding the Cathedral often overlook by visitors but of great historical value are going in the direction of south tower side of the Cathedral, the huge Episcopal palace, followed by the Hotel-Dieu (a historical hospital still functioning today and free access and on which you can see the chapel of hotel-dieu) on a side street in front of parvis Notre Dame see the Church of Saint Christophe,  from parvis and guiding you by the north tower you will see the Church of St Pierre-aux-Boeufs (old church of the butchers). Right next to the north tower you see a small building which is the Baptistery of St Jean-le-Rond, and on the corner of it is the side street to the tours or towers admission on rue du Cloîte Notre Dame. You should walk right out of the parvis straight out from the door of last judgement into the street Rue Neuve Notre Dame, one of the oldest in Paris.

Now some descriptions on what you see on the Cathedral inside and out.  The parvis allows you to go into the archeological site where you will see a museum of the old foundations of the cathedral and the Seine river ,including a piece of the wall by the port or quai of the old Lutecia, remains of spas of gallo romans times, the wall of the city from the 4C, the basement of the old Hotel-Dieu, and the fondations of the hospital for lost children or hospice des enfants trouves.  The rose occidentale or western rosary measure 10 sq meters or about 170.6 sq ft done between 1190-1220 AD. In the gallery of kings there were 28 figures from the time before Christ, the communards thought they were kings and destroyed them in 1873. They were rebuilt.  The grand gallery has a nice view over the parvis and the Seine river. On the virgen door the deco is from 1208 AD except the virgen mother statue over the serpent that is from the 19C. The red door or porte rouge is from 1250-1270 AD reserve for the monks entrance.

As we come inside, you will see the huge nave built between 1180-1220 AD and the choirs built between 1163-1220 AD . You will find many chapels such as Chapelle Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs,Chapelle Saint Denis,Chapelle Sainte Madeleine, Chapelle Saint Ferdinand, Chapelle Saint Georges, Chapelle  Saint Guillaume, Chapelle Saint Louis, Chapelle Saint Marcel, Chapelle de la Sainte Enfance, Chapelle des Fonds Baptismaux, Chapelle Notre Dame de Gadalupe, Chapelle Saint Charles, Chapelle Sainte Clotilde, Chapelle Saint Landry, Chapelle Saint Vincent de Paul, Chapelle Sainte Anne, Chapelle Sainte Genevieve, Chapelle Saint Eloi, Chapelle Saint Joseph, and Chapelle Saint Pierre. The whole of the Cathedral proper is 4 800 sq meters (51 648 sq ft) , where accordingly about 9000 persons can attend Mass; total surface of 5 500 sq meters.

Some interesting information, the gallery of faces or chiméres are strange birds, serpents, are lookout to see the last judgement, there are not to be confused with the gargoyles which only function is to discharge the rain water coming from the roof towards the exterior.  The arrow pointed high behind the transept is build in oak covered with lead and along weights 750 tons, all with company from statues in copper in groups of three, the 12 apostles look toward the floor except one, that looks at the arrow, that is Saint Vincent patron of the architects! as design by Viollet-le-Duc.

At the foot of the transept south east section you will see a statue of the Virgen with a huge bouquet of flowers; this is the NOTRE DAME DE PARIS ,dating from the 14C and put at the Cathedral in 1818!!!

Some of the events that took place here was the coronation of Napoléon I   on December 2nd, 1804 in the presence of the Pope Pie VII, where Napoléon himself crown his emperatrice Josephine. At the parvis all merchants exempt of taxes are installed,as well as those sentence to die, nearby there the master of the templars order, Jacques de Molay  was executed in 1314 AD.  The funerals of the Prince de Condé ,where bishop Bossuet did the ceremony (he was the personal priest and religious adviser of king Louis XIV and buried at the Cathedral of Meaux, dept 77 as he was its bishop); General De Gaulle, and Presidents Pompidou, and Mitterrand was held its funerals here too.  Saint Louis put his relics here first in 1329 AD,Henry IV held a procession here in 1594 AD  for the liberation of Paris, Louis XIII in 1638 AD does his wishes and vouts to the Virgen, the mass for the marriage of king Louix XIV is celebrated here in 1660 AD, the ceremony for the liberation of Paris in August 1944 as well as the victory of WWII on May 9 1945 is held here. It saw the excommunication of king Philippe Auguste in January of 1200 AD by Pope Innocent III as well as closure of the Cathedral. The coming back to the crown of the Bourbons after the wedding of the Duke of Berry in 1816 AD and the baptism of the duke of Bordeaux in 1820 AD. Many many more in the life and history of the city of PARIS.

And yet another view go to the gallery of beasts or galerie de Chimères and the plateform of the tower south where a huge organ is held ;this made of copper and enamel weighting 13 tons;first use for the baptism of Emmanuel grandson of king Louis XIV in 1682. You need about 400 marches to reach it but all worth it. The organ has 110 beats and 8000 cables combinations and was restored in 1992 AD, some of the cables are 11 meters high (36.3 ft) all kinds of music is played here beautifully. The roof is covered with 1326 lead tiles weighting about 210 tons. The bells one call Emmanuel has been recognised as one of the best sounds in Europe, weights 13 tons and the bat to hit it alone wights 500 kilos or about 1,102 pounds.

Hope you have enjoyed the story of this magnificent building for all of us in this magnificent day of Christmas 2010. To come here is to see and hear the history of Paris,France. Its not a complete story but I am sure will give you the force to visit and finds new ways to enjoy it as I have for many years. Cheers!

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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