"St. Stephen's on the Hill" Saint Etienne du Mont Church - Eglise Tip by goodfish

  Rood loft, Saint-Etienne du Mont
by goodfish
 
  • Rood loft, Saint-Etienne du Mont - Paris
      Rood loft, Saint-Etienne du Mont
    by goodfish
  • Nave, Saint-Etienne du Mont - Paris
      Nave, Saint-Etienne du Mont
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  • Reliquary of St. Geneviève - Paris
      Reliquary of St. Geneviève
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  • Chapel of St. Geneviève - Paris
      Chapel of St. Geneviève
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  • Exterior, Saint-Etienne du Mont - Paris
      Exterior, Saint-Etienne du Mont
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This old and lovely church is dedicated to St. Stephen but more famously enshrines relics of Paris' patron saint, Geneviève. As legend has it, her prayers rescued the city from the ravages of Attila the Hun in 451, and after her death in 512 she was entombed in a since-demolished abbey church where the Panthéon now stands. Eventually, crowds of pilgrims overran that chapel so this larger basilica was constructed next door to manage the overflow. It took nearly 135 years (1492 to 1626) for completion, and has the only surviving rood loft in Paris: a gorgeous, lacy bridge that floats between nave and choir and which is accessed by flanking spiral staircases.

The earthy remains of poor Geneviève had been moved to St Stephen's from her previous resting place, and her bones destroyed during the French Revolution but part of her stone sarcophagus - along with some other bits and pieces - survived and are encased in a gilded reliquary.

The church also has some old and interesting stained glass and a beautifully carved wooden pulpit dating to 1651. Jean-Paul Marat was kicked out of his spot in the Panthéon and re-buried in the cemetery here.

Hours are: closed Mondays; 8:45 - 12:00 and 2:30 - 7:45 Tuesday - Sunday.
Entrance is free

Address: 1 place Ste-Geneviève, 5e, Paris, France
Directions: Next to the Panthéon
Phone: +33 1 43 54 11 79
Website: http://www.saintetiennedumont.fr

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 21, 2015
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