Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis church, in the Marais district

Published by Manon de Sortiraparis · Published on April 12th, 2021 at 10:10 p.m.
The Eglise Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, in the Marais district, is a place that takes us back into the history of Paris. With its impressive dome and Delacroix painting on the walls, it's a must-see in the 4th arrondissement.

Close to the Place des Vosges, theEglise Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis is well worth an extended stop to discover its history and architecture. Especially since the church was completely renovated in 2012, and has been restored to its former glory.

If this church rings a bell, it's probably because you've read Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, and remember that it's in this church that Cosette and Marius get married. In 1843, Victor Hugo's infamous daughter Leopoldine was married in the same church. For the occasion, Hugo donated two holy-water fonts to the church, which are still there today.

Built between 1627 and 1641, it was the first Jesuit church in Paris to be financed by Louis XIII, and the first to abandon the traditional Gothic style for the Baroque. In 1762, the Jesuits were expelled by Louis XV, and the church was entrusted to the local clergy.

Eglise Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis soon became one of the most important religious buildings in Paris. It was Cardinal de Richelieu who inaugurated the place; and Madame de Sévigné, who was baptized in the church, came to listen to numerous sermons in its pews.

L'Eglise Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, dans le MaraisL'Eglise Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, dans le MaraisL'Eglise Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, dans le MaraisL'Eglise Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, dans le Marais

During the French Revolution,Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis became a warehouse for books, and much of its wealth was plundered. The reliquaries containing the hearts of Louis XIII and Louis XIV were melted down. In the 19th century, architect Victor Baltard was commissioned to restore the building in Flemish Baroque style. The beautiful exterior façade (impossible to miss!) and the imposing chiselled doorway are Baltard's work. In 1887, the church was listed as a historic monument.

Inside, theimpressive Dome, one of the first and largest to be built in Paris, bathes us in its light. It would later inspire the construction of other domes, such as those of the Sorbonne, Val-de-Grâce, Invalides and Jesuit churches in general.

A painting by Eugène Delacroix, Christ in the Garden of Olives, and the statue La Vierge de Douleur, by Germain Pilon, are also worth a visit.

A place that plunges us back into the history of Paris.

Practical information


99 Rue Saint-Antoine
75004 Paris 4

Accessibility info


Official website

More information
Open daily, 8am-8pm

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