Church of St John the Baptist of Grenelle in Paris!

So here we arrive at another cold day in winter, and forecast calls for colder days ahead, but no snow, and that is fine with me! Rather nice in the distance but not chez vous! Now is about 7C and cloudy.

I will talk about something off the beaten path in Paris if you can believe it. I was asked once in a travel forum now extinct from someone who had visited Paris 20 times according to him, and ask me for any places in Paris with no tourists!!! Haa well for a city that is No 1 in the World with more than 32 million visitors according to the WTO-UN statistics this is hard to do. Sure there are places less seen but never, do not believe it. And you know me about Paris already!

I came here to meet a group of friends that decided to come to the place Etienne Pernet in the 15éme arrondissement for some drinks at the resto chain of Charlie Birdy( now there is going up an Au Bureau bistro there). While walking around before the meeting I came upon this buildind took some photos and decided to learn about it. It is indeed a nice story on a surely off the beaten path of my eternal Paris.

So let me tell you a bit more on something just little touch in my previous posts; the Church of Saint John the Baptist of Grenelle, 15éme arrondissement or district of Paris!

The Church of Saint-John the Baptist of Grenelle is in the 15éme arrondissement of Paris. The steeple above the Church, of medieval neo-Gothic style, contrasts with the ancient inspiration of the rest of the Church and gives it its singular allure. The Church is located at the end of the Rue du Commerce, and  corner with the Rue des Entrepreneurs at 23, place Étienne-Pernet. Closest Metro Commerce or Félix Faure line 8.

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At the beginning of the 19C, the Church that preceded was the Church of St. Lambert proving to be too small in view of the increase in the population in the neighbourhood. A new place of worship was built nearby between 1828 and 1831. It was Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Grenelle. It was located in the plain of Grenelle and the donor of the land was named Léonard-Jean-Baptiste, hence the dedication of the Church. It is in the heart of the new village of Grenelle. The first stone was laid in 1827 by “Mademoiselle”, granddaughter of King Charles X.

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The Church of St John the Baptist of Grenelle or l’église Saint Jean  Baptiste de Grenelle is adorned with four murals: in the transept, the vault of the crusader and the arch of the axial chapel. Unfortunately it is quite difficult to admire them in good conditions because the interior is dark: All the windows have pretty opaque yellow stained glass, done in 1930. The yellow colour, which spreads in the nave, is the symbol of the resurrection. The lack of light obscures the painting of the vault, and almost completely the two paintings of the transept.

The architecture of the Church of St John the Baptist is reminiscent of the Roman basilicas, with a nave chanted with arches in full hanger, circular pillars surmounted by a rather fine stone tailor. The cradle vault is pierced with glasses. Finally, one will notice the protruding cornice which surrounds the Church and which clearly separates the two levels of the elevation, thus breaking the height view. Stained-glass windows with a strong opaque yellow allow little light to pass through. The façade is opened by a full-hanger gate topped by a statue-shaped niche and a triangular pediment. A square-plane steeple topped by an arrow is placed above this façade on the top of the roof. The side walls are pierced with windows in full size.

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The murals paintings were started in 1928, during the expansion of the église Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Grenelle, the embellishment of the Church were given to do by the painter Henri Nozais. It used oil painting supported by a thick waterproof coating for the decorations of the dome, choir and transept. These paintings illustrate episodes of the Life of John the Baptist: The mystical lamb, the birth of John the Baptist, his preaching, his ascent to heaven and, finally, Salome bringing to his mother the leader of the precursor. These paintings date from the years 1928 and 1930. The Church is on two levels of elevation with large arcades and high windows, and is covered with a semicircular vault resting on columns with Doric marquees.   The Church is raised on a Crypt, the present Saint-Etienne Chapel.

The Choir of the Church of Saint-John the Baptist of Grenelle has an apse, illuminated by artificial light,that lets you see the two of Henri Nozais’s mural paintings, dated 1928:   There are the medallion on stained glass of Saint John, in the Choir ; the medallion of Saint Leo , and the medallion of the Holy Bishop all from 1930. The marble altar in accordance with tradition, this altar was executed with fragments of an ancient altar of Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris. The   medallion of a stained glass of the choir also from 1930 of the parents of Saint Teresa of the Child-Jesus one reads above the medallion the quotation: “We get of Christ just as much as we hope”. The modern organ is from 1988, and was renovated last in 2003-04.

There are no tourist spots for it so will tell you a bit on the parish Church site and the mayor’s office of the 15éme arrondissement of Paris.

Official Catholic parish site for Saint John Baptist of Grenelle

Mayor’s office of Paris 15éme district on Religious monuments

Mayor’s office 15éme district on origins of the district in French

There you for the lovers of things to see in Paris off the beaten path, Church of St John the Baptist of Grenelle,and  lovely area to walk. I had even a get together with a group from Australia from the travel forum VT now defunct at the nearby Café du Commerce! And show them around the area including passing by this Church. Enjoy my eternal Paris and it can be yours too!

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

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