Saint-Étienne-du-Mont

Last updated
Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont
St-Etienne-du-Mont Exterior, Paris, France - Diliff.jpg
Overview of the building
Basic information
Location Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, 5th arrondissement of Paris, Paris
Geographic coordinates 48°50′47″N2°20′53″E / 48.8465°N 2.3480°E / 48.8465; 2.3480 Coordinates: 48°50′47″N2°20′53″E / 48.8465°N 2.3480°E / 48.8465; 2.3480
Affiliation Roman Catholic Church
Province Archdiocese of Paris
Architectural description
Architectural type Church
Architectural style French Gothic, French Renaissance
Groundbreaking 1494 (1494)
Completed 1624 (1624)

Saint-Étienne-du-Mont is a church in Paris, France, located on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in the 5th arrondissement, near the Panthéon. It contains the shrine of St. Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris. The church also contains the tombs of Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine. Jean-Paul Marat is buried in the church's cemetery.

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.

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, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Contents

The sculpted tympanum, The Stoning of Saint Stephen , is the work of French sculptor Gabriel-Jules Thomas.

Tympanum (architecture) architectural element

In architecture, a tympanum is the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, door or window, which is bounded by a lintel and arch. It often contains sculpture or other imagery or ornaments. Most architectural styles include this element.

Saint Stephen 1st-century early Christian martyr and saint

Stephen, traditionally venerated as the protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity, was according to the Acts of the Apostles a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy at his trial, he made a long speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who would later become a follower of Jesus and known as Paul the Apostle.

Gabriel Thomas French artist

Gabriel-Jules Thomas was a French sculptor, born in Paris.

Renowned organist, composer, and improviser Maurice Duruflé held the post of Titular Organist at Saint-Étienne-du-Mont from 1929 until his death in 1986.

Maurice Duruflé French classical composer and organist

Maurice Duruflé was a French composer, organist, and teacher.

History

The church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont originated in the abbey of Sainte-Genevieve, where the eponymous saint had been buried in the 6th century. Devoted to the Virgin Mary, then to St. John the Apostle, the place was too small to accommodate all the faithful. In 1222, Pope Honorius III authorized the establishment of an autonomous church, which was devoted this time to St Etienne, then the patron saint of the old cathedral of Paris.

Pope Honorius III pope

Pope Honorius III, born as Cencio Savelli, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 18 July 1216 to his death in 1227.

The rood loft viewed from the south-west. St-Etienne-du-Mont Interior 3, Paris, France - Diliff.jpg
The rood loft viewed from the south-west.

Soon, the new building was overwhelmed by an increasingly dense population: the Sorbonne and many colleges were located on the territory of the parish. It was enlarged in 1328, but a complete reconstruction became necessary from the 15th century. In 1492, the Génovéfain monks donated a portion of their land for the construction of the new church.

Sorbonne historical monument

The Sorbonne is a building in the Latin Quarter of Paris which was the historical house of the former University of Paris. Today, it houses part or all of several higher education and research institutions such as Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris Descartes University, École pratique des hautes études, and Sorbonne University.

The Congregation of France was a congregation of houses of canons regular in France.. Its members were called Génovéfains, coming from the motherhouse of the congregation, the Abbey of St Genevieve. The religious habit was white, covered by a linen rochet, and a black cloak for outside the abbey.

This involved several steps. Under the direction of architect Stephen Viguier, the apse and the bell tower was sketched in 1494, the first two bells were cast in 1500. The choir of flamboyant Gothic, was completed in 1537 and the following year, it was the turn of the frame to be raised. The loft was built around 1530-1535.

Flamboyant florid style of late Gothic architecture

Flamboyant is the name given to a florid style of late Gothic architecture in vogue in France from about 1350, until it was superseded by Renaissance architecture during the early 16th century. The term has been mainly used to describe French buildings and sometimes the early period of English Gothic architecture, usually called the Decorated Style; the historian Edward Augustus Freeman proposed this in a work of 1851. A version of the style spread to Spain and Portugal during the 15th century. It evolved from the Rayonnant style and the English Decorated Style and was marked by even greater attention to decoration and the use of double curved tracery. The term was first used by Eustache-Hyacinthe Langlois (1777–1837), and like all the terms mentioned in this paragraph except "Sondergotik" describes the style of window tracery, which is much the easiest way of distinguishing within the overall Gothic period, but ignores other aspects of style. In England the later part of the period is known as Perpendicular architecture. In Germany Sondergotik is the more usual term.

In 1541, Guy, Bishop of Megara, blessed the altars of the chapels of the apse. The same year, the parish awarded contracts for the windows and statues from Parisian artisans. The nave, from the Renaissance period, was not hunched before 1584. The first stone of the facade was laid in 1610 by Marguerite de Valois, who had agreed to do so in a personal donation of 3000 pounds.

The church was dedicated on 25 February 1626 by Jean-François de Gondi, first archbishop of Paris, Cardinal de Retz's uncle. Nevertheless, developments continued: in 1636, the organ was installed, the work of Pierre Pescheur. When the organ was damaged by fire in 1760 it was rebuilt by Cliquot. Further work was carried out in 1863 by Cavaillé-Coll and the present instrument is the work of further revision by Beuchet-Debierre in 1956 [1]

In 1651, a new pulpit was installed. It was also adjusted for the local wardens and housing for the priests.

During the 17th and 18th century, the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont enjoyed great prestige. It was the scene of great processions where the shrine of Sainte-Genevieve went to Notre Dame and subsequently returned to his church. It also housed the remains of Pierre Perrault, the painter Eustache Le Sueur and Blaise Pascal. Those of Racine and Isaac de Sacy Lemaistre were also transferred in 1711 from Port-Royal in Saint-Etienne.

The nave, showing the rood screen, pulpit and ceiling details St-Etienne-du-Mont Interior 2, Paris, France - Diliff.jpg
The nave, showing the rood screen, pulpit and ceiling details
The organ St-Etienne-du-Mont Organ, Paris, France - Diliff.jpg
The organ

During the French Revolution, the church was first closed and then turned into a "Temple of Filial Piety." Catholic worship was restored in 1801, benefiting from the Concordat. The following year, the demolition of the abbey church of Sainte-Genevieve Abbey and the breakthrough Street Clovis made St. Stephen an independent building. Under the Second Empire, the church was restored by Victor Baltard: the front was raised and the statues destroyed by the revolutionaries, were returned. Baltard also built the chapel of catechisms.

The 19th century was marked by many events. On 10 January 1805 Pope Pius VII celebrated Mass in the church. In 1833, Frederic Ozanam, a parishioner of St. Stephen, founded with friends the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. On 3 January 1857 Bishop Marie-Dominique-Auguste Sibour, was assassinated with cries of "Down with the goddesses!" by the priest Jean-Louis Verger, opposed to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. A plaque at the entrance to the nave marks the grave of the prelate, who was to inaugurate the novena of St. Genevieve. The occultist Eliphas Levi was indirectly involved in this tragic event.

On 23 August 1997 Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass there during the visit to Paris on the occasion of World Youth Day.

Timeline

Features

Today the church is characterized by its curved axis of the nave to the transept, the rood screen (the sole surviving example in Paris) of finely carved stone by Father Biard (1545), his chair designed by Laurent de La Hyre and sculpted by Claude Lestocart and its organ case (1631) (the oldest in the capital). The church also contains the shrine containing the relics of St. Genevieve until 1793 (when they were thrown in the sewer), the tomb of Blaise de Vigenere, of Blaise Pascal, of Racine, and Mg Sibour.

Huysmans described it in the Connecting (1895) as one of the most beautiful churches in Paris.

Related Research Articles

Montagne Sainte-Geneviève mountain in France

The Montagne Sainte-Geneviève is a hill overlooking the left Bank of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. Atop the Montagne, are the Panthéon and the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, used by the students of the University of Paris. The side streets of the Montagne feature bars and restaurants, for example, in the Rue Mouffetard.

Lycée Henri-IV

The Lycée Henri-IV is a public secondary school located in Paris. Along with Louis-le-Grand it is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and demanding sixth-form colleges (lycées) in France.

Victor Baltard architect

Victor Baltard was a French architect famed for work in Paris including designing Les Halles market and the Saint-Augustin church.

Sens Cathedral cathedral located in Yonne, in France

Sens Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral in Sens in Burgundy, eastern France. The cathedral, dedicated to Saint Stephen, is the seat of the Archbishop of Sens.

Aix Cathedral cathedral in Aix-en-Provence, France

Aix Cathedral in Aix-en-Provence in southern France is a Roman Catholic church and the seat of the Archbishop of Aix-en-Provence and Arles. The cathedral is built on the site of the 1st century Roman forum of Aix. Built and re-built from the 12th until the 19th century, it includes Romanesque, Gothic and Neo-Gothic elements, as well as Roman columns and parts of the baptistery from a 6th-century Christian church. It is a national monument of France.

Saint-Brieuc Cathedral cathedral located in Côtes-dArmor, in France

Saint-Brieuc Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in the town of Saint-Brieuc, Brittany, France, and dedicated to Saint Stephen.

Besançon Cathedral cathedral located in Doubs, in France

The Cathedral of Saint John of Bensançon, commonly known as Besançon Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic church located in the town of Besançon, France. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Besançon.

John Abbey was an English organ builder, who built organs for the cathedrals of many French cities, as well as the organ at the Salle Le Peletier of the Paris Opera (1831). Many French organ builders adopted his English bellows design.

Azille Commune in Occitanie, France

Azille is a commune in the Aude department in the Occitanie region of southern France.

Saint-Germer-de-Fly Abbey abbey located in Oise, in France

Saint-Germer-de-Fly Abbey is a former Benedictine abbey located in the village of Saint-Germer-de-Fly, in Picardy in the Oise département of France. Only the late Romanesque-early Gothic church remains, now the village parish church. It is regarded as one of the earliest manifestations of the Gothic style in France. A Late Gothic chapel added in the 14th century is noted as a smaller-scale reinterpretation of the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris.

Abbey of St Genevieve abbey located in Paris, in France

The Abbey of St Genevieve (Abbaye-Sainte-Geneviève) was a monastery in Paris, suppressed at the time of the French Revolution.

Church of Sainte-Radegonde (Poitiers) Church in France

The Church of Sainte-Radegonde is a medieval Roman Catholic church in Poitiers, France, dating from the 6th century. It takes its name from the Frankish queen and nun, Radegund, who was buried in the church. Considered a saint, the church became a place of pilgrimage by those devoted to her heavenly intercession. The current church, constructed from the 11th to 12th centuries, was built in a combination of Romanesque and Angevin Gothic architectural styles.

Church of Saint-Étienne, Lille Church in Lille, France

The Church of Saint-Étienne, Lille is a Roman Catholic church located on the rue de l'Hôpital Militaire in Lille, France. It has been classed as a monument historique since 1987 and is dedicated to Saint Stephen. It is one of the largest Jesuit churches in France.

Val-de-Grâce (church) church of the former abbey in Paris, France

The Church of the Val-de-Grâce is a Roman Catholic church in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, in what is now the Val-de-Grâce Hospital. The edifice was formerly a royal abbey, and its dome is a principal landmark of the skyline of Paris. The church was initially designed by François Mansart, succeeded by Jacques Lemercier who designed the Saint-Sacrament chapel's spiral-coffered dome after Philibert de L'Orme's chapel at the Château d'Anet.

Temple du Marais Church in Paris, France

The Temple du Marais, sometimes known as the Temple Sainte-Marie, or historically, as the Church of Sainte Marie de la Visitation, is a Protestant church located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, in the district of Le Marais at 17 Rue Saint-Antoine. It was originally built as a Roman Catholic convent by the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, whose sisters were commonly called the Visitandines. The church was closed in the French Revolution and later given to a Protestant congregation which continues its ministry to the present. The closest métro station is Bastille

Mont Saint Michel Abbey abbey

The Mont Saint Michel Abbey is located within the city and island of Mont-Saint-Michel in Lower Normandy, in the department of Manche.

Saint Stephens Church, Strasbourg church located in Bas-Rhin, in France

Saint Stephen’s Church in Strasbourg is located inside the catholic ‘Saint-Étienne’ college in Strasbourg, for which it serves as a chapel.

Église Saint-Leu-Saint-Gilles de Paris Church in arrondissement of Paris, France

The Église Saint-Leu-Saint-Gilles de Paris is a Roman Catholic parish church in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It has housed the relics of the Empress Saint Helena, mother of Constantine, since 1819, for which it remains a site of veneration in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. In 1915 the French Ministry of Culture listed it as a monument of historical value.

French Romanesque architecture


Romanesque architecture appeared in France at the end of the 10th century, with the development of feudal society and the rise and spread of monastic orders, particularly the Dominicans, who which built many important abbeys and monasteries in the style. It continued to dominate religious architecture until the appearance of French Gothic architecture in the Ile-de-France between about 1140-1150.

References

  1. Hildebrandt, Vincent,. "The Organs of Paris".