Close to the Place des Vosges, theSaint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church deserves a long stop to discover its history and architecture. Especially since the church was completely renovated in 2012, and it has regained all its beauty.
If this church tells you something, it is certainly because you have read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, and that you remember that it is in this church that Cosette and Marius get married. It is also in this same church that Leopoldine, Victor Hugo's infamous daughter, was married in 1843. For the occasion, Hugo offered two holy water fonts to the church, which are still there today.
Built between 1627 and 1641, this church was the first Jesuit church in Paris to be built thanks to funding from Louis XIII, and the first church to abandon the traditional Gothic style for the Baroque style. In 1762, the Jesuits were expelled by Louis XV and the church was entrusted to the local religious.
The Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis church quickly became one of the most important religious buildings in Paris. It is the Cardinal of Richelieu who inaugurates the place; and Madame de Sévigné, who was baptized in this church, came to listen to many sermons on its benches.
During the Revolution, theChurch of St. Paul-St. Louis became a warehouse for books, and its riches were largely plundered. The reliquaries containing the hearts of Louis XIII and Louis XIV were melted down. In the 19th century, the architect Victor Baltard was commissioned to restore the building, in a Flemish Baroque style. The beautiful exterior facade (impossible to miss!) and the imposing chiseled door, it is to him that we owe them. In 1887, the church was classified as a historical monument.
Inside, theimpressive Dome, which was one of the first and largest to be built in Paris, bathes us in its light. It will inspire the construction of other domes, such as the Sorbonne, the Val-de-Grâce, the Invalides and those of Jesuit churches in general.
Also note the presence ofa painting by Eugene Delacroix, Christ in the Garden of Olives, and the statue The Virgin of Sorrows, by Germain Pilon, a must-see.
A place that plunges us back into the history of Paris.
Eglise Saint Paul-Saint Louis
99 Rue Saint-Antoine
75004 Paris 4
Open daily, 8am-8pm