La Madeleine, Paris

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La Madeleine
L'église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine
Madeleine Paris.jpg
Paris department land cover location map.svg
Reddot.svg
La Madeleine
48°52′12″N2°19′27″E / 48.87000°N 2.32417°E / 48.87000; 2.32417 Coordinates: 48°52′12″N2°19′27″E / 48.87000°N 2.32417°E / 48.87000; 2.32417
Location 8th arrondissement of Paris
Country France
Denomination Roman Catholic
Website eglise-lamadeleine.com
History
Status Parish Church
Founder(s) Napoleon (1807)
Dedication Mary Magdalene
Consecrated July 24, 1842
Architecture
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Logo monument historique - rouge ombre, encadre.svg Monument Historique PA00088812 [1]
Designated 1915
Architect(s) Pierre-Alexandre Vignon
Architectural type Roman temple
Style Neo-Classical
Groundbreaking 1807
Completed 1828
Specifications
Length 354 feet (108 m)
Width 141 feet (43 m)
Other dimensions 65.6 feet (20.0 m) (columns)
Administration
Archdiocese Paris
Laity
Organist(s) François-Henri Houbart
La Madeleine, Paris
UNESCO World Heritage site
Part of Paris, Banks of the Seine
Criteria Cultural: i, ii, iv
Reference 600
Inscription 1991 (15th Session)

L'église de la Madeleine (French pronunciation:  [leɡliːz də la madəlɛn] , Madeleine Church; more formally, L'église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine; less formally, just La Madeleine) is a Roman Catholic church occupying a commanding position in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. [2] [3] The Madeleine Church was designed in its present form as a temple to the glory of Napoleon's army. To its south lies the Place de la Concorde, to the east is the Place Vendôme, and to the west Saint-Augustin, Paris.

Church (building) building constructed for Christian worship

A church building or church house, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly for Christian worship services. The term is often used by Christians to refer to the physical buildings where they worship, but it is sometimes used to refer to buildings of other religions. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is often arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle and the junction of the cross is located at the altar area.

8th arrondissement of Paris French municipal arrondissement in Île-de-France, France

The 8th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France. In spoken French, this arrondissement is colloquially referred to as huitième.

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.

Contents

History

The 1659 church on the Turgot map of Paris (1736) Turgot map Paris KU 19.jpg
The 1659 church on the Turgot map of Paris (1736)
Etienne-Louis Boullee's project for the church (1777-1781) La Madeleine - Projet Couture.jpg
Etienne-Louis Boullée's project for the church (1777-1781)
La Madeleine on the right in this poster advertising the Exposition Universelle (1878) Panorama de Paris - Vu de la nacelle du grand ballon captif a vapeur de la cour des Tuileries.jpg
La Madeleine on the right in this poster advertising the Exposition Universelle (1878)

The site of this edifice, centred at the end of rue Royale, a line-of-sight between Gabriel's twin hôtels in the Place de la Concorde, required a suitably monumental end from the time that square was established in 1755, as Place Louis XV. The settlement around the site was called Ville l'Évêque. The site in the suburban faubourg had been annexed to the city of Paris in 1722. [4] [5]

Ange-Jacques Gabriel French architect

Ange-Jacques Gabriel was the principal architect of King Louis XV of France. His major works included the Place de la Concorde, the École Militaire, and the Petit Trianon and opera theater at the Palace of Versailles. His style was a careful balance between French Baroque architecture and French neoclassicism.

Place de la Concorde square in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France

The Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris, France Measuring 7.6 hectares in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées. It was the site of many notable public executions during the French Revolution.

Two false starts were made in building a church on this site. The reconstruction of the older church consecrated to Mary Magdalene was considered. The first design, commissioned in 1757, with construction begun with the King's ceremonial placing of the cornerstone, April 3, 1763, was halted in 1764; that first design, by Pierre Contant d'Ivry, was based on Jules Hardouin Mansart’s Late Baroque church of Les Invalides, with a dome surmounting a Latin cross. In 1777, Contant d'Ivry died and was replaced by his pupil Guillaume-Martin Couture, who decided to start anew, razing the incomplete construction, shortening the nave and basing his new, more centralised design on the Roman Pantheon. At the start of the Revolution of 1789, however, only the foundations and the grand portico had been finished; the choir of the former church was demolished in 1797, but work was discontinued while debate simmered as to what purpose the eventual building might serve in Revolutionary France: a library, a public ballroom, and a marketplace were all suggested. In the meantime, the National Assembly was housed in the Palais Bourbon behind a pedimented colonnaded front that was inspired by the completed portico at the far end of the former rue Royale.

Mary Magdalene Follower of Jesus

Saint Mary Magdalene, sometimes called simply the Magdalene, was a Jewish woman who, according to the four canonical gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. She is mentioned by name twelve times in the canonical gospels, more than most of the apostles. Mary's epithet Magdalene most likely means that she came from the town of Magdala, a fishing town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Pierre Contant dIvry French architect

Pierre Contant d'Ivry, was a French architect and designer working in a chaste and sober Rococo style and in the goût grec phase of early Neoclassicism.

Les Invalides complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France

Les Invalides, formally the Hôtel national des Invalides, or also as Hôtel des Invalides, is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l'Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the Dôme des Invalides, a large church, the tallest in Paris at a height of 107 meters, with the tombs of some of France's war heroes, most notably Napoleon.

After the execution of Louis XVI his body was immediately transported to the old Church of the Madeleine (demolished in 1799), since the legislation in force forbade burial of his remains beside those of his father, the Dauphin Louis de France, at Sens. Two curates who had sworn fealty to the Revolution held a short memorial service at the church. One of them, Damoureau, stated in evidence:

On 21 January 1815 Louis XVI and his wife's remains were re-buried in the Basilica of Saint-Denis where in 1816 his brother, King Louis XVIII, had a funerary monument erected by Edme Gaulle.

Louis XVI of France King of France and Navarre

Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792.

Basilica of Saint-Denis basilica located in Seine-Saint-Denis, in France

The Basilica of Saint-Denis is a large medieval abbey church in the city of Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris. The building is of singular importance historically and architecturally as its choir, completed in 1144, shows the first use of all of the elements of Gothic architecture.

Louis XVIII of France Bourbon King of France and of Navarre

Louis XVIII, known as "the Desired", was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1814 to 1824, except for a period in 1815 known as the Hundred Days. He spent twenty-three years in exile, from 1791 to 1814, during the French Revolution and the First French Empire, and again in 1815, during the period of the Hundred Days, upon the return of Napoleon I from Elba.

In 1806 Napoleon made his decision to erect a memorial, a Temple de la Gloire de la Grande Armée ("Temple to the Glory of the Great Army"); following an elaborate competition with numerous entries and a jury that decided on a design by the architect Claude Étienne de Beaumont (1757–1811), the Emperor trumped all, instead commissioning Pierre-Alexandre Vignon (1763–1828) to build his design on an antique temple (Compare the Maison Carrée, in Nîmes) The then-existing foundations were razed, preserving the standing columns, and work begun anew. With completion of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in 1808, the original commemorative role for the temple was reduced.

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

Maison Carrée Roman temple located in Gard, in France

The Maison Carrée is an ancient building in Nîmes, southern France; it is one of the best preserved Roman temple façades to be found in the territory of the former Roman Empire.

Nîmes Prefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Nîmes is a city in the Occitanie region of southern France. It is the capital of the Gard department. Nîmes is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Cévennes mountains. The estimated population of Nîmes is 151,001 (2016).

After the fall of Napoleon, with the Catholic reaction during the Restoration, King Louis XVIII determined that the structure would be used as a church, dedicated to Mary Magdalene. Vignon died in 1828 before completing the project and was replaced by Jacques-Marie Huvé. A new competition was set up in 1828-29, to determine the design for sculptures for the pediment, a last judgment, in which Mary Magdalene knelt to intercede for the Damned; the winner was Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire. The July Monarchy rededicated the monument of repentance for Revolution as a monument of national reconciliation, and the nave was vaulted in 1831. In 1837 it was briefly suggested that the building might best be utilised as a railway station, but the building was finally consecrated as a church in 1842.

The funeral of Chopin at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris was delayed almost two weeks, until October 30, 1849. Chopin had requested that Mozart's Requiem be sung. The Requiem had major parts for female voices, but the Church of the Madeleine had never permitted female singers in its choir. The Church finally relented, on condition that the female singers remain behind a black velvet curtain.

Sortant De La Madeleine, Paris by Jean Beraud Jean Beraud Sortant De La Madeleine, Paris.jpg
Sortant De La Madeleine, Paris by Jean Béraud

During the Paris Commune of 1871, the curé of the church, Abbé Deguerry was one of those arrested and held hostage by the Commune. He was executed alongside Georges Darboy, the Archbishop of Paris and four other hostages on 24 May, as French government troops were retaking the city.

Architecture

The Maison Carree, Nimes MaisonCarree.jpeg
The Maison Carrée, Nîmes
The north facade from rue Tronchet Rue Tronchet Eglise St Madeleine.JPG
The north facade from rue Tronchet
The organ built by Aristide Cavaille-Coll P1030416 Paris VIII eglise de la Madeleine orgue de tribune rwk.JPG
The organ built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll

The Madeleine is built in the Neo-Classical style and was inspired by the much smaller Maison Carrée in Nîmes, one of the best-preserved of all Roman temples. It is one of the earliest large neo-classical buildings to imitate the whole external form of a Roman temple, rather than just the portico front. Its fifty-two Corinthian columns, each 20 metres high, are carried around the entire building. The pediment sculpture of the Last Judgement is by Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire, and the church's bronze doors bear reliefs representing the Ten Commandments. Its size is 354 feet (108 meters) long and 141 feet (43 meters) wide. [6] [7]

Inside, the church has a single nave with three domes over wide arched bays, lavishly gilded in a decor inspired as much by Roman baths as by Renaissance artists. At the rear of the church, above the high altar, stands a statue by Charles Marochetti depicting St Mary Magdalene being lifted up by angels which evokes the tradition concerning ecstasy which she entered in her daily prayer while in seclusion. The half-dome above the altar is frescoed by Jules-Claude Ziegler, entitled The History of Christianity, showing the key figures in the Christian religion with — a sign of its Second Empire date — Napoleon occupying centre stage.

Today

The Madeleine is a parish of the Archdiocese of Paris. Masses and other religious services are celebrated daily. Funerals and weddings in Paris are still celebrated here. In the basement of the Church (entrance on the Flower Market side) is The Foyer de la Madeleine. Typical of various foyers run by religious and civic groups throughout France, the Madeleine is the home of a restaurant open from Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 2:00 pm except holidays, school vacations and the month of August. For a yearly subscription fee of 5 Euros one can dine under the vaulted ceilings on a three course French meal served by volunteers for the price of 8.50 Euros. After dining one can take coffee in a lounge at the far end of the foyer for one of the cheapest espressos in Paris, 80 centimes. The walls of the Foyer are often decorated by local artists. [8] [9]

Organ and organists

The church has a celebrated pipe organ, built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1845. It was restored by Cavaille-Coll's successor Charles Mutin in 1927, who also extended the manuals to 56 notes. Tonal modifications were carried out by Roethinger, Danion-Gonzalez, and Dargassies in 1957, 1971 and 1988 respectively. The position of titular organist has been held by many major organists and composers over the years: [10] [11] [12]

See also

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References

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  6. "MadeleineArticle Free Pass". britannica.com. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
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  8. "ÉGLISE DE LA MADELEINE REVIEW". fodors.com. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
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  10. Louis Vierne: Organist of Notre-Dame Cathedral. /books.google.com.np. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  11. "The Cavaille-Coll organ of La Madeleine, Paris". signumrecords.com. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  12. "Appendix J Parisian Organists - A Directory of Composers for" (PDF). rscm.u-net.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2014.