The Eglise de la Madeleine is of course the church where Johnny Halliday’s funerals were celebrated and in front of which thousands of fans communed with themselves, but first of all, it’s an incredible Parisian church filled with history.
With its 52 and 65.61-ft high Corinthian columns, the Eglise de la Madeleine doesn’t go unnoticed. We must say that Napoleon I thought on a big scale. So, when he wanted to build a Temple of Glory devoted to his Great Army, a building at the level of his ambitions was needed.
In December 1806, Napoleon takes over the construction site of a church (started in 1763 and abandoned by the French Revolution) and architect Pierre-Alexandre Vignon inspires from the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens to draw the Madeleine as we know it today.
But after the fall of Napoleon, Louis XVIII orders to give the building its religious function back. As an outcome, the Eglise de la Madeleine is an odd pagan temple inspired by the Greek-Roman architecture with no cross nor bell tower.
Once you’ve crossed the two monumental bronze doors, inside of the Eglise de la Madeleine, we discover a neo-classic architecture, Corinthian columns (again!), sculptures, paintings, a neo-Byzantine mosaic and a big organ by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll on which Camille Saint-Saëns played. For the biggest music-lovers of you, please not that all year around free concerts of classic music are held.
Before leaving the place, have a moment to admire the panorama in front of you as soon as you leave the Eglise de la Madeleine. without anything to disturb your look, we can see the Place de la Concorde, the Assemblée Nationale and even the Invalides. A visual tour of Paris history!
Eglise de la Madeleine
14 Rue de Surène
75008 Paris 8