Saint Etienne du Mont, Paris
Somehow in all our trips to Paris we hadn't visited the inside of the Pantheon so we decided to do it. On the way we walked past St. Etienne du Mont church and couldn't resist going inside. It was a gorgeous church and we were there on a sunny day so the sun coming through the stained glass windows cast glorious colored reflections on all the white stone interior.
There were two special exhibits in the cloisters. One was stained glass and was beautiful, particularly because it was set at eye level and you could get right up next to it and really examine it. If you've noticed, many artists in stained glass put contemporary street scenes in small panes that normally can't be seen in a church, but when you are right there, they are easily visible and great fun. It's almost like a photograph of medieval life.
The other exhibit was paintings by a local school group of health related services. I think it may have been a fund raiser, but the kids' art was wonderful. It was so refreshing and honest; we loved it.
This is a great stop on the way to the Pantheon or a side trip from the Luxembourg Gardens. It's on Place Sainte-Geneviève.
This is a historical Church in a historical area, near the Panthéon and jardin du Luxembourg.This is a serious Church no photos or flashes during service.
I give you the translated history from the Church site. It is a place Worth coming and back again.
Originally, was the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, built during the reign of king Clovis and where were buried the King himself, his wife Clotilde and sainte Genevieve. It became in the middle age, the important Royal Abbey of the same name. In the 13th century, the Church of the Abbey which was used for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood became insufficient and a second building was built under the patronage of saint Stephen, the first of the martyrs. The latter was itself rebuilt in 1492 and 1626, in the troubled context of the wars of religion. The current church Saint-Étienne was adjacent to the Abbey Sainte-Geneviève.
In 1744 Louis XV decided to replace the Abbey Church, in poor condition, by a grandiose building became that after many historical vicissitudes, became the current Panthéon. The Abbey itself was devastated during the revolution and the relics of Saint Geneviève burned. The abbey buildings were transformed into Lycée Henri-IV(high school) and the Abbey Church was shot to death in 1804 to make way for the rue Clovis;in it remains the BellTower included in the walls of the high school.
Saint-Étienne du Mont then inherited the relics and the cult of Saint Geneviève. The facade (built from 1610 to 1622 of the Church was completed by the chapel of the Virgin, located at the bottom in the axis, and built in 1653, in a classical style. In the apse of the Church, a cloister in three sides, built between 1605 and 1609, surrounded a small cemetery. The rood screen built at the beginning of the 16th century, is the only remaining in Paris.Ce buffet of the organ was constructed and carved in 1631 by Jehan Buron, master carpenter. It is the oldest of Paris and, Furthermore, reached us in its original state.The Chair, dated 1651, which replaced the rood screen for preaching, is a fine example of baroque art the relics of the Saint were burned during the Revolution of 1789 by the Paris municipality, and melt the rest. The Church hosts since the beginning of the 19th century of the relics which had been kept in other churches since the 9th century. The great current coffins contains the remaining stones of the original sarcophagus where his body had been placed.
The Chapel, completed in 1853, is a fine example of neo-Gothic style. Stained glass (1869) trace the history of the Saint, whose memory is always maintained: every year, takes place from 3 to 11 January, the Novena of sainte Geneviève, marked by celebrations in his honor.
The philosopher Pascal (1623-1662) is buried in Saint Etienne du Mont because he died on the territory of the parish. The remains of the playwright Racine (1639-1699) were reported here after the destruction of the Abbey of Port-Royal des Champs because his family lived in the neighborhood. The young student from Lyon Frédéric Ozanam who brought together the first Conference of the Société de Saint-Vincent-de-Paul founded with his friends in 1833. Secular works of charity and evangelism, his action anticipates social Catholicism as it will define pope Léon XIII in the encyclical "Rerum Novarum" (1891). Today, the movement is international: there are 850,000 members in 116 countries from all 5 continents (including 30,000 members in France). In Saint-Étienne-du-Mont Pope John Jean-Paul II has beatified Frédéric Ozanam in August 22, 1997, on the occasion of the world day of youth.
Come right in.
The Pantheon, built after the French Revolution to replace the ancient church on the site that the Revolution had destroyed, saw its purpose changed when it was chosen to be the last resting place of the great men of France - and a cold and formal place it is, suitably full of its own importance as much as the importance of the men who lie entombed there. It's built on the site of a great pilgrimage destination - the tomb of St Genevieve - the patron saint of Paris, but she isn't included in the pantheon of the great and the good lying here.
Not that there's a lot left of the poor lady - the anti-religion fervour of the Revolution saw her mortal remains burnt in 1793 and her church destroyed - all that the ornate sarcophagus we see now contains is what was left of the original burial casket. That you'll find in the church in the square behind the Pantheon, Saint Etienne-du-Mont, and it's is a different matter altogether from the great edifice of the Pantheon. A Gothic fantasy (though of 16th century construction) it is as feminine a building as the Pantheon is masculine. As well as the saint's "tomb", there is some particularly beautiful stained glass here, and an extraordinary rood screen with a marvellous stone spiral staircase.
Other notable burials at St Etienne are the 17th century men of letters and science - Jean Racine and Blaise Pascal.
Metro: Cardinal Lemoine
Closed Mondays in July and August. Otherwise the church is open every day but it is closed for quite long periods in the middle of the day so you would do best to time your visit for mid-morning or late afternoon.
This church is a pleasant respite from the bustle of the Latin Quarter. Of interest is the carved marble rood screen.
This is the church I had chosen to attend mass at this last visit, but the fates conspired! I did drop in during the daytime and saw this prayer service led by the nuns.
When you are headed for the Pantheon or that little wine bar nearby it is easy to ignore this church. Don't.
Saint Genevieve, Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine are buried there -- but historically the most important for Paris is Saint Genevieve. For a brief account of her history visit the website below.
I have actually never heard of this catholic church until I've wandered one day in the 5th arrondissement with a friend. It's around 10 min walk from Pantheon. The address is 1 r St Etienne du Mont 75005 PARIS .
This is one of the most beautiful church I've seen in France, mainly because of the jube. It's the only church in Paris that has a jube and it's really beautiful. I would have liked to take a picture of it but it was forbidden to do so.
This church is mainly dedicated to Sainte Genevieve, the protector of the city of Paris. Inside the church, there are a few panels that explain the origins and history of it.