The Magnificent Churches of Paris
Very few people travel to Paris without visiting one of the glorious churches. While Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur are the most well known, churches in Paris are abundant. There are over 30 significant churches in Paris and none charge an entrance fee. Isabelle Renaud-Chamska, the President of Art Culture and Faith expresses that,”The aim of all the churches in Paris is to be a place of visitation, welcoming tourists and passers-by; a haven of peace, beauty and hospitality, rich in history.” If touring the beautiful churches is on the agenda, make your reservations at the hotel in Paris in the district of one of your favorites.
The historic churches of Paris are marvelous examples of different architectural styles, mostly Romanesque and Gothic. They are a great way to experience functional uses of the world’s most priceless works of art, essentially art galleries meant to inspire worship and reflect the beauty of heaven. The reflection is sure, as no detail is spared in the construction, the woods are finely carved and gilded in pure gold, the ceilings arched and painted in heavenly scenes. Windows explode into rainbows that reflect colored light throughout the interior and shine with images depicting stories of faith. It really doesn’t matter where you choose your Paris hotel to be, there’s a marvelous church nearby.
Great Churches of Paris
The history of churches in Paris predates Paris itself. When the city was in Roman hands and called ‘Luteia’ a temple was erected to worship the Roman god Jupiter. Later that same site was dedicated to Saint Etienne and finally in the 12th century Notre Dame Cathedral was erected.
On top of Montmarte Hill sits the church of the Sacre Coeur, surely one of the most magnificent and iconic views of Paris. The domed basilica made from stones of the Chateau-Landon, has preserved its stark white color and the steps are a major rendez-vous point for both visitors and residents.
The church of Saint Augustin was built in the late 1800’s. Architect Victor Baltard was the first to use a metal frame for a building of this size. Baltard is a major influence on Paris architecture as he is also responsible for the magnificent Les Halles. In the 8th Arrondissement, Saint Augustin is just one of the many attractions of this district and a great location for a hotel in Paris to see any of the main sights.
Saint Germain Lauxerrois is located near the Louvre, and was once the church of the French Kings. The church is known for the massacre of August 24, 1572 which began the moment the church bells rang.
The Panthéon, although no longer a church, is one of the most majestic buildings in Paris. Originally commissioned by King Louis XV as a token of gratitude to Saint Genevieve, the church never made it through the revolution in 1790.
There are many beautiful churches throughout Paris, certainly enough to keep the well heeled traveler busy. Your Paris hotel concierge should be able to tell you of the churches within walking distance to your hotel.
Whether your passion is history or art, be sure to book your Paris hotel in one of the districts that is home to your favorite attractions to minimize on travelling time between the sights.