Paris Churches - Paris Notre Dame - Paris Cathedral - Paris Sainte Chapelle - Paris St Sulpice

Author: David Lefranc

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Paris Churches, France

Notre Dame Cathedral

Paris' cathedral par excellence was built between 1163 and 1345 commissioned by the bishop Maurice de Sully. The cathedral witnessed much destruction over its long history, primarily during the French Revolution, but it was brought back to its former splendor at the end of the 19th century. The majestic facade is crowned by two Gothic towers, and greets visitors with three ornately decorated portals. Be sure to see the north portal, with its magnificent rose window and the flying buttresses surrounding the apse.
The interior contains stained glass windows, the choir and Treasury (medieval manuscripts, paraments and gold shrines). You can also climb the 380 stairs that lead to the southern tower and see the gargoyles, mythological monsters immortalized by Victor Hugo. The view of the city is wonderful.

Where: Place du Parvis Notre-Dame. Metro: Cité

Hours: every day. Visitors are not allowed during mass. The Treasury is open Mon.-Fri. 9.30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ; Sat. 9.30 a.m. - 6.30 p.m. ; Sun. 1.30 a.m. - 6.30 p.m.

Sainte Chapelle

This masterpiece of Gothic architecture is one of the gems of Paris. The chapel is located inside the Palais de Justice. The building is divided into two parts: the solemn lower chapel, used by servants and the people, and the upper chapel reserved for the royal family. The latter is decorated with 15 stained glass windows which cover all the walls giving it a surreal appearance. The stained glass windows depict more then 1100 scenes from the Bible in a kaleidoscope of red, blue and green lights that leave everyone breathless. Go on a sunny day and you'll understand why worshipers called it "the entrance to heaven".

Where: 4, Boulevard de Palais. Metro: Citè

Hours: March-October: 9.30-18.00. November- February: 9.00-17.00

Saint Severin Church

Another beautiful medieval church, built in Flemish Gothic style in the 14th century. The interior contains Gothic architecture which surrounds the choir. The site was originally used as a burial ground for the poor and the ossuary still exists in the church garden.

Where: Latin Quarter

Saint Sulpice Church

This massive church dominates a square of the same name in the Luxembourg quarter. Its construction lasted more than a century, but the facade was never completed, as can be seen by the two unequal towers. When you enter the church go and see Delacroix's frescos in the Chapelle des Anges and don't miss the 1776 organ, one of the biggest in the world with its 6,700 pipes.

Where: Pl. St-Sulpice. Metro: St-Sulpice. Hours: 8.30-20.00


A grandiose Neoclassical church built by Louis XV in gratitude for having been cured from a serious illness. After the French Revolution the church was transformed into a shrine to house the tombs of France's heroes. Voltaire, Rousseau, Zola, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie and other famous French cultural figures are buried here.

Where: Place du Pantheon. Metro: L10 Cardinal Lemoine, L7 Jussieu

Hours: all year 10:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Sainte Eustache Church

Saint-Eustache is one of the prettiest churches in Paris, built between 1532 and 1637 with a Gothic layout modelled after Notre Dame. However, Renaissance canons were applied on the building for the first time in France, which is evident in the decorations, columns and capitals. The classical facade was added in the 18th century.

Where: Place du Jour. Metro: Les Halles

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Sat. - Sun. 10:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.


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