Archive for July 9th, 2018

July 9, 2018

This is Paris: Church Saint Germain l’Auxerrois

So I come to the end of my favorite Churches of Paris. You will notice not written on the majors on this series because they are somewhere in my blog, search. The Churches of Paris hold the story of the city, its history, architecture, and wars, religion or not, they are a must to visit in Paris or any other city for that matters. As I like history and architecture, I have seen plenty even if the numbers are unbelievable, keep trying to see them all.

My end of series Church is one that I came to know quite early in my forays into Paris while working in  ,or visiting the city. It is very close to the nerve center of tourism Paris. This is the Church of Saint Germain l’Auxerrois.

The Church of Saint Germain L’Auxerrois is  located at place du Louvre corresponds to the oldest place of worship on the right bank, known in the 6C, under the name of Saint-Germain-le-Rond. Rebuilt in the 12C and 13C, the Romanesque base of the steeple remains from the 13C.  Its overall harmony, which makes it one of the great Gothic monuments of the city of Paris. The Church is located on the southeast side of the Louvre Square, facing the colonnade of the Louvre. It is served by the Louvre-Rivoli and Pont Neuf metro stations line 1 and 7 respectively.


However, there are the six statues representing the characters of the old Testament and the Saints, as well as the 30 other characters. The Campanile (or belfry) was built between the two facades from 1858 to 1863. The use of the stone conceals an iron structure supporting all the bells of the now famous carillon. The silhouette and some details of the belfry are reminiscent of those of the Saint-Jacques tower. It was the parish of the kings of France due to its proximity to the Louvre. In the old regimes it was know as the Parish of the Artists! It was name after Bishop Saint Germain l’Auxerrois from the region of Auxerre in Burgundy today.

It is located in front of the Louvre and next to the City/town hall of the 1éme district or arrondissement; which sometimes can be confusing for folks thinking that the bell tower is the Church when in reality is the City hall. In 1859, a new building in the north to house the City/town Hall, a true copy of the facade of St Germain Auxerrois, which gives a very peculiar symmetry. Using a style inspired by the late Gothic and the French Renaissance.

Existence of the Church is attested in the 7C, at the time Merovingian. It is the burial place of Saint Landry, Bishop of Paris, died around 655 or 656. Abbé Lebeuf believes that it is necessary to attribute the first origin to a chapel, the chapel of St. Vincent, which was built shortly after the death of Saint Germain, Bishop of Auxerre.  On July 25, 754, during the reign of Pepin the Writ, the transfered of the body of Saint Germain from the small chapel was held in the chorus of the Great Church of St. Vincent, which has since been called Saint-Germain church or Saint-Vincent and Saint-Germain presumably to distinguish the two churches consecrated to the same Saint, the last of which was named Saint-Germain-le-Rond.  The oldest part is the Romanesque tower, which dates from the 12C. It was surmounted by an arrow which was shot down around 1754 and replaced by the current balustrade. In the 13C, the western portal, the choir and the Chapel of the Virgin were built. The Church is largely rebuilt in the 15C in particular , the elevation of the porch.

The Saint Germain l’Auxerrois Church became the appointed Church of the Royal family at the time when the Valois moved to the Louvre in the 14C. Parish of the Kings of France because of its proximity to the palace of Louvre, the Church is one of the oldest in Paris.  It is one of the four Churches marking the cardinal points of Paris in 581.  It was the parish of François Boucher who lived in rue Saint-Thomas-du-Louvre. The two daughters of Boucher and his wife Marie-Jeanne Buzeau married, the painters Baudouin and Deshays. Danton, then a young lawyer, married Antoinette-Gabrielle Charpentier, the daughter of the owner of the Café du Parnassus nearby, on June 14, 1787.

At the beginning of the French revolution, after the forced return of the Royal family of Versailles to the Tuileries, the future king Louis XVII (assassinated by the French revolution)  made his first communion here (after assassinated by the French revolution). Under the terror, Saint-Germain is emptied of its contents and converted into a fodder store, in printing, in the police station, in the factory of saltpeter. In 1795, Théophilanthropic cult was celebrated there. The church regains its Catholic vocation in 1802 after the Concordat. Under the First Empire, an old project of destruction of the Church (already examined under the reign of Louis XIV by Colbert), in order to clear the colonnade of the Louvre by a large square in the middle of which the new bridge would succeed, is envisaged then abandoned at the beginning of the Restoration.

In the Second Empire, the Baron Haussmann once again refuses to destroy it while the Minister of State and the House of the emperor, suggests he develops a project to balance the whole thing; he asks to build a building inspired by the religious building to house the city/town hall of the 1éme arrondissement.  The designed reproduces almost identically the main façade of the Church (a porch surmounted by a rose window), which is similar to buildings of that time.  Between the two, it was built a flamboyant gothic campanile (or belfry) connected to both buildings by two doors of the same style, giving access to a square separating the two monuments. This architectural ensemble is built between 1858 and 1863. As we know it today.

Given the proximity of the Louvre where many artists reside after the departure of the court at Versailles, the Church becomes the last abode of many of them and even bears the nickname “Saint-Denis of Genius and Talent”. The church offers on the  rue Arbre-Sec a curiosity; the carps of the Church Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois. It is a frieze, carved around the central chapel, representing sections of carp (heads, bodies, tails) alternating with rosettes. According to the historian of Paris, this decoration would correspond to a specific request of the rich textile Draper Tronson who, in 1505, had financed this chapel. It is not known whether the Draper Tronson had fishmongers in his family, or if they are simply sections of carp evoking his name. Source from brochures in the Church itself.

A monumental Flemish wooden altarpiece dating from the early 15C is located in the Chapel Notre-Dame de Compassion . It is a gift from the Comte de Montalivet, Minister of Louis-Philippe. The first register is divided into five scenes: one recognizes from left to right, the marriage of the Virgin, the Nativity of Christ, the Dream of Jess, the Adoration of the Magi and the presentation at the temple. The upper register represents more classically the ascent to Calvary, the Crucifixion and the descent of the Cross. These last three scenes can be compared to the corresponding scenes of the Passion Altarpiece exhibited at the Louvre museum.

The Chapel of the Virgin is located at the entrance of the church on the South side; It corresponds to four former 16C chapels gathered during the 19C. It presents the peculiarity, on the one hand to be isolated from the southern collateral by a woodwork, and on the other hand, unlike most of the other churches, not to be in the central axis of the church at the end of the apse. Its decoration dates back to the 19C, but there are several more anciently reported statues.

The Chapel of Notre-Dame de la Bonne-Garde contains a stained glass window representing Saint Louis ( king Louis IX, born in Poissy, Yvelines 78 on  25 April 1214, and died in Tunisia on 25 August 1270, during the Eighth Crusade, canonized in 1297) , making justice under the oak of Vincennes , and a statue of the Holy Virgin (1812), miraculously spared during the riots of 1831.

The Chapel of the Patron Saints had in the past many burials, including a vault for those who, having no particular burial, had obtained the right to be buried in the Church. During the redevelopment of the chapel in 1841, many coffins were found.

The Chapel of the tomb (also called Calvary) was founded in 1505 by Jehan Tronson, the wealthy drapery merchant who decorated the outside of the Church with a frieze of pieces of carp. The members of this family are then buried there. Because of its rich founder, it became the seat of the Brotherhood of Clothiers who held their corporate meetings there and celebrated masses there. During the sack of 1831, the burials of his vault were desecrated.

The Chapel of Good Death (formerly called the Blessed Sacrament) is completely remade in 1841. It houses stained glass windows dating from 1859; To the right a holy stone, barefoot, the head circled with a halo, crossing on his chest his two keys; In the center, in four compartments, Saint Joseph, the Virgin, Christ and Saint Michael.

The Chapelle Saint-Landry (formerly Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul), which refers to the former bishop of Paris, Saint Landry, is built between 1521 and 1522. It was ceded in 1624 to Étienne Aligre (market fame) and became the Chapel and burial place of his family. At the beginning of the 19C, king Louis XVIII deposited the heart of Joseph Hyacinthe François-de-Paule de Rigaud, Count of Vaudreuil , the great Falconer, whose body is in the family grave at Calvary Cemetery.

There is no trace of what was the great organs of the Royal Parish before the French Revolution the present organ was transferred in July 1791 from the Sainte-Chapelle, where it had been built twenty years before by François-Henri Clicquot, in a buffet designed by Pierre-Noël Rousset.

Last the Church has been painted by some notable painters over the years such as Claude Monet , Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois (1867) and Jean BéraudPremière communion, work not found or credit given.

There you go ,it is well tucked in by the city hall, on the parvis after the City Hall of Paris but you do well in getting there and see, it is really nice.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must are

The Church of Saint Germain L’Auxerrois webpage :

Catholic Churches of Paris :

Tourist office of Paris on St Germain l’Auxerrois:

Details work on the Church of Saint Germain l’Auxerrois in French:

In all a wonderful inventory of history and architecture of Paris. Enjoy the Churches. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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July 9, 2018

This is Paris: Church of St Pierre de Chaillot

And just getting there, I continue telling you about the Churches of Paris, especially this one not really known but beautiful. This is the history, architecture, religious truths, you can get from Paris and France by visiting these monument to mankind. they never seize to amaze me the amount of history,architecture along one can get of France by visiting them. And the task is big because they are so many. I am just telling you my personal favorites.

I like to tell you a bit about the Church of St Peter of Chaillot or église Saint Pierre de Chaillot.

Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot Church  is located at 31 Marceau Avenue in the 16éme district or arrondissement of Paris, near the corner between Avenue Marceau and Rue de Chaillot, also offering an entrance at 26 Rue de Chaillot. The parish of Saint-Pierre de Chaillot dates back to the 11C. The present Church is built in the 1930’s, two times, and completed in 1938 the old Church opened on the Rue de Chaillot, only a Chapel with a brick façade opened on Avenue Marceau. There is nothing left of this old church except a statue of the Virgin of Chaillot.  Initially, the new Church was to be isolated, but the surrounding buildings were never demolished.


The church was inaugurated on 18 May 1938. The Nunciature de Paris is located on Avenue du Président-Wilson, at the bottom of Avenue Marceau. The Church of Saint Peter of Chaillot is thus the parish of the Apostolic nuncio. Thus between 1945 and 1953, Monseigneur Roncalli, future John XXIII, frequented the Church.

The church of Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot dates from the  1930’s. Formerly, in the 11C, there was a first Church dedicated to Saint Peter. Another sanctuary succeeded him in the 17C. The latter was the property of the city of Paris since the laws of 1905. The city retained the property of the new Church-although built on private donations only-because the land belonged to it.

The Church was built from 1933 to 1938 in a Romano-Byzantine style, it is reinforced frame concrete, the coating is stone. Its slightly dark interior is adorned with large frescoes painted on concrete by Nicolas Untersteller  while the Mauméjean brothers made the stained-glass windows-few-which illuminate the church. The sculptures are the work of Henri Bouchard.

Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot is one of the major concrete churches of the capital and  a tourist area where it is located assures visitors and faithful. Well not really, visitors not many, locals a few more. It needs to be discovered by the visitors. The area is superb.

It has a triangular eardrum sculpted by Henri Bouchard on the façade. The sculptures of the left illustrate the evangelical life of the Apostle Peter (from the time of Jesus). The straight sculptures tell us his apostolic life, his vocation and his martyrdom.  The Frescoes by Nicolas Untersteller . The artist painted four large frescoes on the arches and pillars. He first engraved the outline of the drawing on the walls, then he posed the painting without completely eliminating the concrete. The result is very well aligned with the architecture.

The work of Untersteller in summary of the  Creed representing the spiritual life of the Church associated with its symbols, such as Faith (through the sacraments, liturgical feasts); Holy (Beatitudes, theological virtues, cardinals, lives of the Saints),  Catholic (thus universal through the great Evangelizers), and  Apostolic (it is based on the apostles, the Evangelists, the councils).

The Church is built on a Greek cross style with five cupolas of octagonal shape. The bell tower is 62 meters high and it is to the left of the main façade on Avenue Marceau. It is a low Church, invisible from the outside, built as a crypt under the main Church. Large Eardrum (triangular composition on the life of Saint Peter) carved by Henri Bouchard above the three portals of the main façade.

Paaris Paris Paris

Important people had their funerals here such as Philippe Lichtenstein ,French Colonel, 1892; Guy de Maupassant, French writer, 1893, and Marcel Proust  French writer, 1922.  From the old Church of Saint-Pierre-De-Chaillot, where Marcel Proust’s funeral took place on November 21, 1922, only a statue of the Virgin remains. The current building, sometimes dubbed the “Cathedral”, was inaugurated by Cardinal Verdier, on May 18, 1938.  Built to accommodate 1400 people, Saint-Pierre-De-Chaillot has the peculiarity of being the parish of the Apostolic nuncio, the Pope’s ambassador to France. The place was, during its construction, a true passage of artists.

And so it awaits you the new artists of our time and all those travelers seeking history, architecture and harmonious living in our eternal Paris. Lovely Church indeed.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Parish webpage of St Pierre de Chaillot :

Catholic Churches of Paris :

Tourist office of Paris:

And now you have plenty on this one and many others,  enjoy them. And remember, happy travels ,good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

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