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28 July, 2012

5 Eye-catching Churches in Paris

Paris is a city with rich cultural heritage and is home for some of the beautiful churches in the world. These eye-catching churches have a history of their own and are a part of the history of Paris.

Location: 1st arrondissement

Saint-Eustache, it has the largest pipe in France
The current church building was constructed between 1532 and 1632, which is one century. Saint-Eustache was a Roman general in the 2nd century AD who was burned alive with his family members for converting to Christianity; the church got its name on his remembrance. This church is one of the wonderful examples of Gothic structure with Renaissance detail. There is a Keith Haring sculpture in the chapel of the church to remember the epidemic AIDS death happened in the year 1980. Saint-Eustache church has the largest pipe in France with nearly 8,000 pipes.

Notre Dame de Paris
Location: 4th arrondissement

The back view of the famous Notre Dame de Paris with flying buttress and gargoyles
Notre Dame de Paris is also known by various names like Notre Dame Cathedral or Notre Dame, which means Our Lady of Paris. This is yet another beautiful example of French Gothic architecture; however, majority of the religious imagery was damaged or destroyed during French Revolution. When renovation took place the church was returned to the Gothic architecture. This church holds the cathedra or the official chair of the Archbishop of Paris. This church holds the record of first few buildings in the world that used flying buttress or arched exterior supports; it is a historic monument in France.

Location: 18th arrondissement

Sacre-Coeur, situated at the highest point in the city called Montmartre

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Sacré-Coeur Basilica is popularly known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris and is one of the finest examples of Romano-Byzantine architecture style. The construction took nearly 3 decades to complete (1875 – 1914). This is a very popular landmark in Paris as it is situated in the highest point of the city called Montmartre. There is a garden and a fountain in this basilica. To get a panoramic view of the city, just go to the top of the dome. The main reason why this basilica looks white even after weathering and pollution is due to the fact that travertine stone is used in its construction; travertine oozes calcite and this helps the basilica to remain white constantly.

Location: 5th arrondissement

Saint-Severin, the oldest  church on the Left Bank of River Seine
Saint-Séverin is the oldest church on the Left Bank, which is the southern bank of River Seine; it is a Roman Catholic Church. The existing structure was built on Gothic architecture with lateral aisles during the 13th century. This church too has flying buttress similar to Notre Dame de Paris and gargoyles on the exterior. The bells of the church are believed to be the oldest in Paris.

Location: 4th arrondissement

Sainte-Chapelle, famous for stained-glass collections. (This is the ceiling of the lower part)

Image courtesy
This is believed to be the only surviving building of “The Direct Capetian Dynasty” or “The House of France.” La Sainte-Chapelle is considered as one of the chief achievements of Gothic architecture during Rayonnant period. Majority of the church was damaged during French revolution; however, it was restored in 19th century and holds the largest or the most extensive in-situ 13th century stained-glass collections.


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