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A church and centuries of garbages and carrots' peelings

The entrance | Benchaum / CC-BY-SA
Parish church Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle church in Paris

Behind those walls raised by king Philip Augustus, reinforced in 1356 by Etienne Marcel (Paris' provost), linking Saint-Denis gate to Montmartre's gate, what did we find?

Well, since the 10th century, Parisians used to put here their food scraps! Those gradually piled up and finally formed a kind of artificial hill, which was called butte en gravois.

From the top of this high hill, we had a nice view on a swampy valley, where people hunted ducks... That's a tall order!

This district was called villeneuve-en-gravois and people moved in gradually. But a church was missing! So the city allowed to raise a small chapel, in April 1551, dedicated to saint Barbe and saint Louis.

In 1563, bishop of Luçon, Tiercelin, blessed the chapel under the name Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, "Our Lady of Good News".

It was rebuilt in 1624 with a cemetery and a presbytery: the church was even visited by queen Ann of Austria, Louis XIII's wife!

She laid down the first stone. The legend says she chose the name "Good-News" in 1628, in order to thank Virgin Mary. Why?

Because she gave the king a son after 23 years of marriage.

In 1790, the 4 bells were molten to make cannons and the church became a temple dedicated... to Reason! In 1823, architect Godde rebuilt it... he only kept the bell-tower!

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!