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"A Catholic church in a Greek temple" L'église de la Madeleine Tip by Jefie

L'église de la Madeleine, Paris: 55 reviews and 134 photos

  Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, or La Madeleine
by Jefie
  • Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, or La Madeleine - Paris
      Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, or La Madeleine
    by Jefie
  • A close-up of La Madeleine's pediment - Paris
      A close-up of La Madeleine's pediment
    by Jefie

La Madeleine has an interesting history - its cornerstone was laid out in 1763, not long before the French Revolution. Although its foundations had been completed, the Revolution put a stop to the construction of the church. In 1806, Napoleon came up with the idea to transform it into a temple dedicated to the French armies, which would be called "Le Temple de la Gloire" (Temple of Glory). Construction of this temple began the following year, but the idea was abandoned before its completion. After coming close to becoming a train station, the building was finally completed in 1845 and became the Sainte-Marie-Madeleine church.

I don't know if it's because it is so different from the other churches in Paris, but I immediately fell in love with La Madeleine. Not only is its architecture awe-inspiring, but the many sculptures and paintings inside the church make it one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the city. But most of all I think I especially liked the church's pediment which features Jesus-Christ surrounded by virtue on the left and vice on the right. Marie-Madeleine is on the right, imploring Christ on her knees.

And again, on a completely different note, the underground restrooms that are located near the church are the nicest ones I've come across during my stay in Paris :o)

Address: Place de la Madeleine
Directions: From Place de la Concorde, walk up rue Royale (metro Madeleine).
Phone: 01 44 51 69 00

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 12, 2007
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