The Church Saint Eustache of Paris !!!

This is one of the historical and better known churches of Paris, and I have plenty on them in my blog. Actually coming here was to go the Les Halles and saw the building in the first visit way back in 1990. My curiosity took me in and then every time in the area will go in and see. I have another post on the Church Saint Eustache of Paris and this one will be more on the history of it, Thanks for reading me since Nov 2010!, and hope you enjoy this post as I.


I will be telling you about the Church of Saint-Eustache, as briefly as possible, as it is a huge landmark in my eternal Paris.  The 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 next to the Forum des Halles,(see posts) is not for nothing. If the exterior aspect is more classical , the interior architecture-at first glance is rather confusing.


A bit of history tell us that 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, 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.  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 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.  The organs of Saint-Eustache Church 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.

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. 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.

A bit on the architectural look from my amateur eye. The visitor entering the Church of Saint Eustache is immediately seized by the height of the vaults at 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, 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. The Church of Saint-Eustache has a vast canopy on three levels of elevation ; it 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.


The Parish of Church Saint Eustache on its history

The official Church Saint Eutache on its history

The Paris tourist office on the Church Saint Eustache:

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France and beautiful Paris. I feel glad was able to update this one for you and me, and see my other post on the church in my blog. Hope you enjoy the visit to the Church Saint Eustache of Paris as it is a ride into history, and architecture.

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

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