The Church of Saint-Roch, rich church in Paris 1st arrondissement

The Church of Saint-Roch has been a victim of the French Revolution bullets and fights. Centuries after, it returned this beautiful and impressive church containing real treasures such as the choir vault, divinely painted and the Chapel of the Virgin, made of embossed designs. To be discovered in Paris 1st arrondissement!

126-m long featuring a plan inspired by Notre-Dame, the Church of Saint-Roch is one of the biggest churches in Paris. Built according to La Sorbonne architect Jacques Le Mercier’s blueprints during the construction of the Tuileries in the 17th century, the Church of Saint-Roch saw its first stone being set in 1653 by Louis XIV himself! Because of financial issues, the construction will resume in 1701 under the management of Jules Hardouin-Mansart followed by Pierre Bullet before coming to an end in 1740.

Obviously, since the Church of Saint-Roch required several decades to be built, different architectural styles rub shoulders such as classic style and baroque style. Short before the French Revolution, works of art by the period’s major painters are added to the building.

L'Eglise Saint-Roch, vaste église du 1er arrondissement L'Eglise Saint-Roch, vaste église du 1er arrondissement L'Eglise Saint-Roch, vaste église du 1er arrondissement L'Eglise Saint-Roch, vaste église du 1er arrondissement

But the Revolution explodes and with it, pillaging and destructions of religious monuments. Diderot’s tomb, buried in the Church of Saint-Roch, will be emptied and we’ll never find his body ever again.

For the record, it’s on the stairs of the Church of Saint-Roch that Bonaparte had royalist insurgents shot in 1795. Until the building was renovated in 2000, we could still see on the façade the impact of the bullets, symbols of the revolutionary fights.

Luckily, the indoor decoration of the Church of Saint-Roch resumes right after the French Revolution to hide the destructions. The church is adorned with new paintings and sculptures and even works of art from destroyed buildings are repatriated making it a real museum of religious art. All these works are still visible today for visitors’ greatest joy.

L'Eglise Saint-Roch, vaste église du 1er arrondissement L'Eglise Saint-Roch, vaste église du 1er arrondissement L'Eglise Saint-Roch, vaste église du 1er arrondissement L'Eglise Saint-Roch, vaste église du 1er arrondissement

While the nave is rather classic and clean, the choir and its wonderful vault painted by Adolphe Roger is worth having us stop by. Don’t forget the Chapel of the Virgin either it’s as baroque as you could imagine and topped with a beautiful oval cupola adorned with “Triomphe de la Vierge” painted by Jean-Baptiste Pierre.

Finally, for music lovers, know that the Church of Saint-Roch organizes quite often concerts of classic and religious music.

Manon C.
Last updated on 24 July 2018

Practical information

Location

296 Rue Saint-Honoré
75001 Paris 1

Prices
Free

Official website
www.paroissesaintroch.fr

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