Can you guess how many churches and cathedrals there are in Paris? If you said 200, then you must be either really good at guessing or an extremely knowledgeable person! Paris churches and cathedrals seem to be present on the corner of every street and are undeniably some of the most stunning in the world.
Catholicism heavily influenced France for many centuries, for it was the official religion. As a result, the monarchs and kings governing edified more than 50,000 churches and cathedrals with time. As one can expect, each one of them had a different architectural style and theme.
These religious and spiritual relics stand as physical evidence of what the country has gone through, from the fall of the Roman empire to the French revolution, and from the 12th century Notre-Dame de Paris to the 19th century Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Most of these churches were damaged and fell into near-ruin during the revolution. However, the renovation of many, including Paris churches and cathedrals, allows us to fully enjoy these architectural masterpieces today.
We rounded up the 5 most magnificent Paris churches and cathedrals below, to add to your travel bucket-list right now!
5.) La Madeleine
Formally known as “L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine”, La Madeleine is one of the most unique and distinguished Paris churches and cathedrals. Its remarkable Roman architecture and neo-classical style really set it apart.
La Madeleine was inspired by Maison Carrée, another smaller church in Nîmes, France. The synagogue-turned-church was founded at the beginning of the 12th century to commemorate Saint Mary Magdalene. However, in the 19th century, Napoleon chose its site as a memorial for the Temple de la Gloire de la Grande Armée (“Temple to the Glory of the Great Army”). He rebuilt it completely and gave it its current form.
The first thing that strikes the first-time visitors in La Madeleine is its Roman temple external form. The 20-meter high Corinthian columns never cease to awe and give off a sense of grandeur to the church.
Our advice: You can easily access La Madeleine from the famous Place La Concorde. Make sure to drop by if you’re in the hottest district of Paris.
- Website: Eglise La Madeleine
- Address: 14, rue de Surène – 75008 Paris
- Opening hours: From 9:30 AM to 7 PM
- Prices: Free.