Couvent des Jacobins de la rue Saint-Jacques

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Detail of the plan de Turgot showing the monastery church on rue Saint-Jacques, opposite the exit from rue Saint-Etienne-des-Gres (now rue Cujas). In the foreground is the dome of the Sorbonne. Saint-Etienne-des-Gres on 1739 Turgot map Paris - KU 07.jpg
Detail of the plan de Turgot showing the monastery church on rue Saint-Jacques, opposite the exit from rue Saint-Étienne-des-Grès (now rue Cujas). In the foreground is the dome of the Sorbonne.

The Couvent Saint-Jacques, [1] Grand couvent des Jacobins or Couvent des Jacobins de la rue Saint-Jacques [2] was a Dominican monastery on rue Saint-Jacques in Paris. Its complex was between what are now rue Soufflot and rue Cujas. Its teaching activities was the origin of the collège des Jacobins, a college of the historic university of Paris.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Rue Soufflot is a street in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, France, at the border between the quartier de la Sorbonne and the quartier du Val-de-Grâce. It links boulevard Saint-Michel with the Jardin du Luxembourg at place du Panthéon.

Rue Cujas street in Paris, France

Rue Cujas is a street in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, named after the legal expert Jacques Cujas (1522-90), since it neighbours the Faculté de droit.



Plan of the couvent des Jacobins de la rue Saint-Jacques, by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. Key - A: church; B: refectory (with the 'parloir aux bourgeois' on the other side of the enclosure) ; D: ecole Saint-Thomas. Plan.abbaye.Jacobins.Paris.png
Plan of the couvent des Jacobins de la rue Saint-Jacques, by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. Key - A: church; B: refectory (with the 'parloir aux bourgeois' on the other side of the enclosure) ; D: école Saint-Thomas.

The Dominican order established a base in Paris in 1217 in a house near Notre-Dame. [3] In 1218 Jean Barastre (also known as Jean de Saint-Quentin, theology professor and doctor to Philip II of France) gave the order a house with a chapel near the city walls. This chapel was the chapel of a pilgrims' hospice - dedicated to Saint James the Great, it gave its name to rue Saint-Jacques and to the French Dominicans, who became known as the 'Jacobins' after their main monastery.

Philip II of France King of France from 1180 to 1223

Philip II, known as Philip Augustus, was King of France from 1180 to 1223, the seventh from the House of Capet. His predecessors had been known as kings of the Franks, but from 1190 onward, Philip became the first French monarch to style himself "King of France". The son of King Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne, he was originally nicknamed Dieudonné (God-given) because he was a first son and born late in his father's life. Philip was given the epithet "Augustus" by the chronicler Rigord for having extended the crown lands of France so remarkably.

Major benefactions from Louis IX of France allowed the order to complete its church and build a dormitory and schools. Although limited by the city wall and in competition with the other great monastery-college in Paris, the Cordeliers, the Dominicans expanded up to the wall of Philip II Augustus thanks to Louis XII of France.

Louis IX of France 13th-century King of France

Louis IX, commonly known as Saint Louis, was King of France, the ninth from the House of Capet, and is a canonized Catholic and Anglican saint. Louis was crowned in Reims at the age of 12, following the death of his father Louis VIII, although his mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled the kingdom until he reached maturity. During Louis' childhood, Blanche dealt with the opposition of rebellious vassals and put an end to the Albigensian Crusade which had started 20 years earlier.

Wall of Philip II Augustus

The Wall of Philip Augustus is the oldest city wall of Paris (France) whose plan is accurately known. Partially integrated into buildings, more traces of it remain than of the later fortifications which were destroyed and replaced by the Grands Boulevards.

Louis XII of France King of France

Louis XII was King of France from 1498 to 1515 and King of Naples from 1501 to 1504. The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Maria of Cleves, he succeeded his cousin Charles VIII, who died without a closer heir in 1498. Louis was the eighth French king from the House of Valois, and the first from the Orléans branch of that dynasty.

A wealthy merchant named Hennequin gave the order a gift in 1556 which enabled it to rebuild its cloister. Its study room, known as the Écoles Saint-Thomas, was also rebuilt in 1563. A few years before the French Revolution this room was used for services, since the church was closed and in disrepair. The monastery was suppressed in 1790 and its buildings demolished between 1800 and 1849. [4]

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.


Clementia of Hungary, from her effigy, originally in the monastery church. Clemence d'Anjou.jpg
Clementia of Hungary, from her effigy, originally in the monastery church.

The monastery church housed many notable tombs.

Royal and princely tombs

Charles, Count of Valois Emperor of Constantinople

Charles of Valois, the third son of Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon, was a member of the House of Capet and founder of the House of Valois, whose rule over France would start in 1328.

Philip III of France Capetian King of France, 1270 to 1285

Philip III, called the Bold, was King of France from 1270 to 1285, the tenth from the House of Capet.

House of Valois cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty

The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon.

Other tombs

Notes and references

  1. The Dominicans of the Couvent Saint-Jacques were reestablished in 1849 by father Lacordaire at a new address - they are now based at 20 rue des Tanneries, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris
  2. It was the first of two Dominican monasteries in Paris - the second, of the reformed Dominicans, was the Couvent des Jacobins de la rue Saint-Honoré).
  3. Antony Béraud, Pierre-Joseph-Spiridion Dufey, Dictionnarie historique de Paris', 566. Accessed 2-20-2013
  4. Dictionnarie historique de Paris: contenant la description circonstanciée de ... by Antony Béraud, Pierre-Joseph-Spiridion Dufey, 366, Accessed 2-24-2013
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 The effigy is now in the Basilica of St Denis.
  6. Her effigy was an upright rather than a horizontal one and is now at Saint-Denis.
  7. Only the faces of their effigies now survive, housed in the Louvre Museum.

Coordinates: 48°50′50″N2°20′36″E / 48.8472°N 2.3432°E / 48.8472; 2.3432

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