"La Madeleine, most unusual church." Top 5 Page for this destination La Madeleine Tip by breughel

La Madeleine, Paris: 3 reviews and 4 photos

  La Madeleine.
by breughel
  • La Madeleine. - Paris
      La Madeleine.
    by breughel
  • La madeleine - worshipping. - Paris
      La madeleine - worshipping.
    by breughel

Favorite thing: La Madeleine is my favorite because it is the most unusual church I know in France, a pastiche of antiquity, a perfect illustration of neo-classical architecture. On a monumental base with 28 stairs there are 52 columns, of 20 m height, in Corinthian style. In the wall between the columns are 52 statues of saints by various sculptors.
The carved pediment shows the Last Judgment, Christ appears surrounded by two angels. Marie-Madeleine is on the right kneeling to intercede for the damned, she thus expresses the repentance.
The bronze doors are exceptional by their dimensions which make them larger than the bronze door of St. Peters in Rome.
The interior design of the Madeleine is of a remarkable homogeneity. This rare aesthetic unit for a church is due to the fact that the interior achievement was done in a short time. With its single nave the church has similarities with ancient basilicas. The cupolas with the weak lighting remember the Pantheon in Rome but unfortunately the church is dark inside.
The columns of the nave are in Corinthian style like those outside.
Marble from various origins is the essential material for the decoration. Gildings underline the ornaments.
The high altar is one of my favorites in Paris. Beauty and originality were combined by Charles Marochetti who carved in white marble over a period of twelve years the altar piece called "Ravissement de Sainte Marie-Madeleine" (the ecstasy of holy Marie-Madeleine). According to tradition angels were supporting her body when she would leave the ground in ecstasy.

The cherry on the cake is the decoration with flowers of the monumental stairs at rue Royale. From these stairs there is a nice view on the obelisk of the Place de la Concorde only 500 m distant with in the back another Neo-Classical façade of the Assemblée Nationale -Palais Bourbon.

Open: each day 9.30 - 19.00 h. Free. A much visited church of Paris with 600.000 visitors/year.

Review Helpfulness: 5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 8, 2011
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