Église St-Etienne-du-Mont in Paris is an attractive Gothic church with some unique features inside and out. Built over a long period between 1492 and 1626, the church was once part of an abbey dedicated to the patroness of Paris.
History of St-Etienne-Du-Mont
The Church of St-Etienne-du-Mont stands on the site of an abbey founded by Clovis, King of the Franks (466-511) and later dedicated to St. Geneviève, the patroness of Paris.
St. Geneviève was so popular in the Middle Ages that the abbey had to be enlarged to accommodate all the pilgrims. Construction on the present abbey church began in 1492 and encountered numerous delays before it was finally finished in 1626.
What to See at St-Etienne-Du-Mont
All that remains of the ancient abbey is the Tour de Clovis (Tower of Clovis), which is now part of the Lycée Henri IV.
The attractive church, named for St. Stephen but still devoted to St. Geneviève, is located right next to the Panthéon. The interior of St-Etienne-du-Mont is Gothic, an unusual style for a mostly 16th-century church.
Along with the patroness of Paris, such illustrious men as Pascal and Racine were entombed here. St. Geneviève's tomb was destroyed during the Revolution, but the stone on which her coffin rested was discovered later, and her relics were gathered for a place of honor at St-Etienne.
The church possesses a remarkable early-16th-century rood screen. Dramatically crossing the nave like a bridge with spiral staircases on either side, it's unique in Paris and beloved by many (and deplored by a few).
Also notable is the wood pulpit, supported by Samson with a jawbone in hand and slain lion at his feet. The fourth chapel on the right from the entrance contains impressive 16th-century stained glass.
Quick Facts on St-Etienne-Du-Mont
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||48.846552° N, 2.348017° E|
|Address:||1 place Ste-Geneviève|
Sat: 8:45am-12 and 2-7:45pm
Sun: 8:45am-12:15pm and 2:30-7:45pm
|Lodging:||View hotels near St-Etienne-Du-Mont|
Map of St-Etienne-Du-Mont, Paris
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