Churches and Museums

Paris

To see Churches of Paris

La Madeleine – A strange church

The first look at this church gives a strange sensation of a pastiche – a copy of a roman temple out of date and context. Well, it is, looking like roman, without being roman. It has a style uncommon in France in the 18th century, where it was started. It was built for artistic reasons, not exactly religious ones, what explains its odd look. But it got a history: the revolution, right after its start, stopped the construction, and hardly discussed its future – a library, a marketplace, even a ballroom, but it was Napoleon who decided, at last, to proceed with its religious vocation, as temple to the glory of the army.

After Napoleon’s fall, the temple was dedicated to Mary Magdalene. Now it is a trendy beautiful and odd church and it reaches perfectly its original aesthetic objective.

​Address: Place de la Madeleine and Rue Royale         Website: Madeleine

Trinite 1 t
Trinite 1 t

Sainte Trinité Church

The “Église de la Sainte-Trinité” is a Catholic church located in the IXe quarter in Paris, France. The church is an edifice of the Second Empire period, built between 1861 and 1867, at a cost of almost 4 million francs.

La Trinité, as it is known, was designed by Théodore Ballu as part of the beautification and reorganization of Paris under Baron Haussmann.

​The church is accessible by the Métro (the nearby station, Trinité, is named after it) and is known internationally for its former organist, Olivier Messiaen.

Address: Place d’Estienne d’Orves, 75009 Paris

Website: Trinité

Paris

Saint Eustache

Saint-Eustache is a church built between 1532 and 1632. I don’t remember where I read that: “It is another Parisian gothic gem. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive 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 Molière, who was also married here two decades later.

The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls.

​Situated in an area of Paris renowned for fresh produce of all kinds, the church became a parish in 1223, thanks to a man named Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby. To thank such divine generosity Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr. The construction of the current church began in 1532, the work not being finally completed until 1637. The name “Saint-Eustache” refers to Saint Eustace, a Roman general who was burned along with his family for converting to Christianity. Several impressive paintings by Rubens remain in the church today. Each summer, organ concerts commemorate the premieres of Berlioz. “Anyway, the historic references are only one more note in a very interesting visit.
Address: 2, Rue du Jour, 75001 Paris

Website: St. Eustache

Sagustin 1 o
Sagustin 1 o

Saint Augustin – Church in evidence

Saint Augustin is a church in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.

It was built between 1860 and 1871, close to St Lazare metro station, integrated in Baron Haussmann’s design for that area of the city, and that’s the reason why it seems so well integrated, even evidenced by the street planning.

Address: Place St. Augustin

Website: St. Augustin

Paris
Paris

​Notre-Dame-de-Lorette

Discreet, facing a narrow street, and diminished by the image of Sacré-Coeur in its back, this neoclassic church was built in the 19th century.

​A statue symbolizing faith dominates the facade, and the interior is decorated with paintings, statues and stained glasses

Address: Rue de Chateaudun-Metro Notre Dame de Lorette

Paris

Saint Severin

The Church of Saint-Séverin (Eglise Saint-Séverin) is a small church in the Latin Quarter of Paris, located on the lively tourist street Rue St-Séverin. It is the oldest church that remains standing on the Left Bank, and it continues in use as a place of worship.The church is dedicated to Séverin, who who lived and prayed there in a small oratory. After Séverin’s death, a basilica was constructed, later destroyed by the Vikings. The current church was started in the 11th century, though its major features are Gothic from the 15th century.With some fine gargoyles, it has the oldest bell in Paris, cast in 1412.

Address: 3 Rue des Prêtres Saint-Séverin, 75005 Paris

Website: St. Severin

Paris

Pantheon

Returning home from Paris, in my first visit, I came with the idea of seeing Napoleon’s tomb in the Pantheon. A rough confusion, as I noticed when, more than 30 years later, I decide to see it again, and… it was not there but in Invalides.

Napoleon didn’t move and we didn’t bother, because the visit to the Pantheon is always interesting, even without the emperor. Very similar to the Panthéon of Rome, it started to be a church dedicated to St. Genevieve.

Napoleon is absent, but you have there the memory of many famous French citizens waiting for your visit.

Website: Pantheon

Paris

Expiation

A chapel built in the 19th century was dedicated to the memory of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

In Wikipedia we may read that:

“The Chapelle expiatoire is without doubt the most uncompromising late neoclassical religious building of Paris. Chateaubriand found it “the most remarkable edifice in Paris”. The chapel’s severe geometry is unrelieved by sculpture as can be seen by the view from rue d’Anjou.”​”

Maybe so. It didn’t impress me too much, maybe because it was the most expensive ticket to a monument in Paris that I paid this time.

Museums

Paris

Louvre – Huge and Impressive

Once again I got no time (nor mood) to enter the Louvre. I still am one of the few that went several times to Paris without standing some seconds in front of that small picture of an ugly lady that someone decided to consider “THE” masterpiece.

I didn’t also have time to browse the thousands of other artworks, searching for the originals of the known reproductions that fill our memories. I only had time to admire the wonderful palace and gardens, where the flocks merge to enter.

Maybe the Louvre is the center of the world, but, after visiting it, what will be the excuse to return to Paris again and again?
​I need to go back to Paris to see the Louvre, but… time… in Paris…

Address: 99 rue de Rivoli, 75058 Paris,   Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre          

Website: Louvre

Paris

Baccarat Museum

With a large and rich history in glass manufacturing, Baccarat is a respected name. If you pass by the United States square, you may enter and see a couple of great pieces, well displayed in a beautiful palace. I must confess that I expected more, and took a morning expressly to go there.

​Somewhat disappointed, but I didn’t regret the time. Why do they forbid to take pictures inside? There’s no risk to the pieces, and copying models will not be stopped nor limited by boring the tourists!

Paris

Medieval Museum

In the “Rive Gauche”, near Sorbonne, the national museum of the Middle Ages is installed in a complex composed by two Parisian monuments: Gallo-Roman thermal baths (1st-3rd centuries) and the hotel of the abbots of Cluny (15th century). The museum was founded in 1843, thanks to the collections of Alexandre de Sommerard who lived in the hotel of Cluny.

​Enriched during the years, the large collections covers all the art from Gaulle Roman times to the 16th century.

Address: Boulevard St-Michel

Paris

Arts Museum

In my first visit to Paris, in 1971, I stayed in “Hotel des Arts et Métiers”, near “Place d’Italie”. It was with surprise that I found the museum “des Arts et Métiers” in the opposite side of the river, in Marais.

​Recent moving? No way. I read that: “In 1794, the Abbot Grégoire founded the Conservatoire des arts et métiers. Installed between the walls of the old priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs in Paris, this “depot of new and useful inventions” became a museum for all types of trades and crafts.​

The collection is unique in the world: 80,000 objects, 15,000 drawings testify to the ingenuity of humankind and the spirit of adventure of the pioneers of the industrial revolution.

​The museum is part of the Musée de l’Education Nationale system, for education, but it is also a place of marvels for all. “This means that the museum is there for a long time. I understood that the hotel’s name was given by the school of arts and crafts, also located near Place d’Italie.

“My” old hotel (the cheapest that my Parisian friend could find to a Portuguese student) is gone. By the way… I didn’t had time to visit the museum, but it is in my list for the next time in Paris.

Address: 60 rue Réamur, 75003.
Website: Arts et Métiers

Paris

Orsay Museum

In 1900 a train station was built to the universal exhibition and served as a connection to southwest France until 1939.

​During the war it was used to the movements of prisoners, and, after the war… Well, why not a museum? In 1978 was created the museum, that covers all the western arts from 1848 until WW1, and opened to the public in 1988.

Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris

Website: Orsay

Paris

The Centre Georges Pompidou

No, it is not a factory. No, it is not a docked ship.

​It is a large and modern cultural center, housing the biggest museum of modern art, a public library, and a research centre for music and acoustic effects.It is open since 1977, and it is one of the most visited places in Paris since then.

Address: Place Beaubourg, 75004

Website: Centre Pompidou

Paris

Carnavalet Museum

I think that I will live 160 years. I hope so, because this will be the only way to have time to visit fifty percent of the museums in Paris.

​Carnavalet Museum is planned to 2036, which means that I will visit it in my nineties, young enough to appreciate it.Then, I will describe its contents (promise).

Website: Carnavalet

Invalides

Paris

Bad plan

The ticket to Invalides do include the visit of the military museum. The women and Tito were not interested, and I accepted to skip it.

Later on, I felt deeply sorry – my grand uncle’s greatest works were done in France, capturing some scenes of WW1.

​Maybe the museum displays anything from him, that I don’t know. If you go to the museum search for “Sousa Lopes” paintings. If you find anything e-mail me, and I’ll offer you a candy.

Paris

The church

Built in the 17th century, this large complex should be a hospital for old aged and cripple soldiers, thus getting its name. A few years later a royal church was built, inspired in St Peter’s church, in Rome. This church is now the central part of the complex, becoming a gem of French Baroque.

Address: 129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris

​Website: Musée de l’Armée

Paris

Napoleon’s tomb

Napoleon’s tomb is the central piece in Invalides church.

​Seen from above or below, all the visitors go round it, more impressed by the dimension of his memory than by the austere look of the tomb.

Website: Tombe de Napoleon