St-Etienne-du-Mont's interior is 68 meters long and is made up by a five-bay nave with very high sides and lateral chapels.
Its remarkable masterpiece is the rood screen, the only one left in Paris, built in 1545, probably by Pierre Beaucorps, which divides also the two main construction periods: the Gothic chancel and the Renaissance nave.
Another treasure is a wood pulpit presenting Samson holding a bone in one hand, with a lion at his feet.
Beautiful stained glasses can be found in the chapel on the right side of the church.
I always enjoy visiting churches when I'm traveling because they always show architecture at its best, they're full of impressive works of arts, have a lot of history... and admission is free! The three best-known churches in the Latin Quarter are Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre (the oldest church in Paris after Saint-Germain-des-Pres, dating back to 1165), Saint-Severin (a great example of Gothic architecture, with countless gargoyles sticking out in all directions), and my favorite one: Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. Saint-Étienne was built during the 13th century, but the population, mainly composed of students, quickly outgrew the original building so plans were made to enlarge it - this was done section by section, mixing late Gothic with Italian Renaissance styles, which contributed to giving the church its trademark eclectic appearance.
One of my favorite features inside the church was the chapel dedicated to Sainte-Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. The French philosopher, physicist and mathematician Blaise Pascal was also buried at Saint-Etienne, along with French playwright Jean Racine.
St-Etienne-du-Mont contains the shrine of St. Genevieve's remains, the patron saint of Paris.
Genevieve protected Paris from the barbarians and was buried in an early church located on this area in 512, place which soon after her death became an important pilgrimage destination for Christians.
The current reliquary contains only a few fingers and bones, due to the fact that during the French Revolution, the remains of the Saint were burned.
Although this beautiful church was built in the 16C, its structure is mainly Gothic.
Building began in 1492 and, following numerous delays, was finally finished in 1626.
The beautiful facade is a work of Claude Guerin and is flanked by a bell tower.
The decoration of the facade was completely destroyed during the French Revolution, but was reconstructed in 1861.
I really recommend you to spend a couple of minutes admiring the wonderful facade of the church.
Is really worth!
As we walked from the Arena to the Panthéon, we found ourselves passing this interesting looking church, just across the way. At the entry, I noticed a sign to say that photography is prohibited, which seemed a bit much given that there was nobody else present!
The current church dates from 1610, replacing earlier churches which became too small for the growing population. The significance of the church is that it is largely dedicated to St Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris: in the very broadest terms, she was an “earlier St Joan of Arc”, a pious country girl who told the Parisians that God would save them from Attila and his army of 700,000 Huns! Attila veered away.
Built in an interesting mixture of styles, with the interior largely Flamboyant Gothic, we were quite taken with the result. I anticipate being turned to a pillar of salt very soon, because it seems I inadvertently bumped the shutter release of the camera while inside!
Main photo - St Etienne du Mont
photo 2 – Sign on façade about period of construction
photo 3 – The church facade
photo 4 - The interior.
Just north east of the Pantheon you see a small church in comparision with its neigbour the Pantheon.
The church has a mixture of architecturial styles. The tower and choir are neogothic and the facade, unique by its three frontons, is built in renaissance-style.
The building of this church started allready in the 15th century, but is first completed in 1626. The philosopher-scientist Pascal and the writer Racine are buried in this church.
This old and lovely church is dedicated to St. Stephen but more famously enshrines relics of Paris' patron saint, Geneviève. As legend has it her prayers rescued the city from the ravages of Attila the Hun in 451 and after her death in 512, she was entombed in a since-demolished abbey church where the Panthéon now stands. Eventually crowds of pilgrims overran that chapel and this larger basilica was constructed next door to manage the overflow. It took nearly 135 years (1492 to 1626) for completion and has the only surviving rood loft in Paris: a gorgeous, lacy bridge that floats between nave and choir and which is accessed by flanking spiral staircases.
The earthy remains of poor Geneviève had been moved to St Stephen's from her previous resting place, and her bones were destroyed during the French Revolution but part of her stone sarcophagus survived, along with some other bits and pieces, and is encased in a gilded reliquary.
The church also has some old and interesting stained glass and a beautifully carved wooden pulpit dating to 1651. Jean-Paul Marat was kicked out of his spot in the Panthéon and re-buried in the cemetery here.
Hours are: closed Mondays; 8:45 - 12:00 and 2:30 - 7:45 Tuesday - Sunday.
Entrance is free
This delightful chapel is near the Pantheon in the Latin Quarter. In addition to having some religious significance thanks to the relics of a saint and a visit from a pope, it also has some amazing stained glass. The atmosphere is very peaceful and makes a nice break after the uphill climb.
Many of the windows have fine stained glass and more glass in a different style is present along the cloister wall in the chancel at the back of the apse. A fine carved pulpit graces the nave supported by a Samson. The organ is reputed to have a great sound. (We have never heard it). And there are the shrine of Ste. Genevieve and the tombs of some very famous men.
The first sign of a church here dates back to 1222, and quite quickly became too small due to the number of schools in the area, but it took around 400 years to almost finish, after enlarging it, adding bits and then a complete reconstruction, with the first stone of the new facade being laid in 1610. Finally finished some 16 years later work carried on inside, with the grand organ being added in 1636 and further apartments for the priests even later. The fabulous jube was built around 1530 fortunately not suffering during the restructuration and is the only one of its type in Paris.
Although the church was closed during the Revolution it didn't suffer too much and only the facade and some statues really needed restoration. After Pope Pius VII in 1805, Pope Jean-Paul II celebrated mass here in 1997.
Lastly, if you've seen the film "Midnight in Paris" the steps to the left of the main door facing the "rue de la Montagne-Ste. Genevieve" are the ones seen in the film where Owen Wilson sits before taking the car at midnight.
Cardinal Lemoine is the closest metro.
The pretty church of St.-Etienne sits upon its hilltop in the Latin Quarter diminished by the hulk of the Pantheon next door and by the scurrying of masses of students from the adjacent Paris Universities. Not only is its facade different, but its very late Gothic interior has design features not often encountered. There is an (for Paris) unique elaborate rood-screen (an early Catholic device for separating celebrants from congregants during worship). This one is structurally open and gives a complete view of the Altar and Lady Chapel in the apse. Its delicate carving and lateral spiral staircases make the screen a gem. The stonework is amplified by a Flamboyant Gothic vaulting with stalactite pendant keystones and elaborate bosses. The lateral walls as well are innovative with tall wide windows, while a balustrade mimics the design of the screen staircases.
These two attractions are located next to each other and are a short walk south of Notre Dame.
Saint Etienne du Mont is a 16th century church and the Panthéon was also originally built as a church. OK, so you've already seen enough churches in Paris but I promise you this will be the last and the interior of Saint Etienne du Mont is really spectacular.
Another thing these two structures have in common is that they both claim crpyts containing famous French people. Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine are buried somewhere in Saint Etienne du Mont and the Panthéon has a host of historical heros including Marie Curie, Victor Hugo, and Voltaire.
On August 23, 1997 Pope John Paul II performed a mass at the church of St. Etienne du Mont while in Paris for World Youth Day celebrations. A small sign near the front of the church commemorates his visit.
Ste.-Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris. She may have lived in the early 5C as a shepherdess whose religious path included historical prophesy. What mortal fragments survived the destructions of the Revolution are enclosed in a modern gilded copper shrine on the altar. A piece of her sarcophagus is in a large gilded case on the floor. Nearby toward the door is a 16C Entombment group with stained glass of that period behind it.
L.Guerin's lavish early 17C Renaissance style facade stands before the nave of St.-Etienne du Mont at the depth of the Pl. Ste.-Genevieive which runs past the north side of the Parthenon. This is the highest ground in the Latin Quarter ( the Montagne Ste.-Genevieve). The tower to the right is the Tour de Clovis, described elsewhere (a Sorbonne Tip). The facade presents three totally different pediments and treatments but maintains a vertical rhythm like a set of ripples in a pool. The belfry to the left was started 150 years earlier. Inside, beyond the unique rood-screen, on the right is the shrine of Ste. Genevieve. These two unusual features will be treated in other Tips.
Situated on the hill where Sainte Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, was buried, Sainte-Etienne-du-Mont traces its roots back at least to the 8th century AD. It was originally part of the Abbey of Sainte Geneviève, but later became an independent church. The existing edifice is of a complete reconstruction between 1492 and 1626, which has left nothing of the original structure. This period saw the transition from Gothic to Renaissance styles as evidenced by the mix of styles both inside and outside.