Paris Travel Planner   L'Église de la Madeleine, Paris
 In appearance a Greek temple, this unusual church has had a long and tumultuous history and is a beautiful landmark on Paris's Right Bank.


 

 

 

First-time visitors to Paris might wonder what the Greek temple is that's located just up the Rue Royale from the Place de la Concorde.

It's the Église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, known informally as "La Madeleine."

Its exterior is striking, with large Greek columns and a carved pediment depicting The Last Judgment. Its bronze doors illustrate scenes from the Ten Commandments.

The interior contains a lovely statue showing Mary Magdalene being carried to heaven, as well as a statue dedicated to Joan of Arc.

La Madeleine is a Catholic church affiliated with the Benedictines, offering masses and frequent organ recitals and other musical programs (some free). Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré were both organists here. Fauré's famous Requiem was composed for the Madeleine.

Several church buildings were started and destroyed on this site. Napoléon envisioned a temple to the glory of the great army, but enthusiasm lessened when the Arc de Triomphe was completed. In the 1800s there was talk of using it as a train station, but it was consecrated as a church in 1842.

Looking from the steps of the Madeleine across the Seine, you can see the Palais Bourbon, site of the French National Assembly. Napoléon wanted the building to mirror the Madeleine, so the columns and a carved pediment were added.

The Place de la Madeleine is home to the famous Fauchon gourmet shop; other upscale shops including Baccarat, Hédiard, and Lalique are also found in this elegant neighborhood of the 8th arrondissement.

Métro: Madeleine
RER: Auber

La Madeleine
14, rue de Surène
Paris 75008
Tel +33 1 44 51 69 00


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Church of the Madeleine, Paris

Above: Church of the Madeleine, Paris.
Below: Interior of the Church of the Madeleine, Paris.


Interior, Church of the Madeleine, Paris

   
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