A little history of Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas church
This nice church was named after the hospital founded at the end of the 12th century by Knights Hospitaller of Alto Pascio (Haut Pas in French), from Italy (Tuscany). The hospital welcomed pilgrims on the way to Compostela!
The Hospitaller chapel was used first as a parish church by the district inhabitants. But soon, it was too small: they extended it in 1519, 1566, 1584. Catherine of Medici sent here Benedictine monks from Saint-Magloire abbey (rue Saint-Denis, Paris). We still see Magloire’s relics in the church!
And the current church was raised. King Louis XIII’s brother, Gaston of Orléans, laid the first stone down in 1630. They began with the choir... but hadn’t enough money! Fortunately, duchess de Longueville Anne of Bourbon-Condé, remote in a convent not far from here, gave lot of money! And the building site went on.
A generous impulse soon erupted over Saint-Jacques: neighbour quarrymen gave stones and materials for free, and inhabitants, whether they were masons or carpenters, helped! No salary? Oh, never mind! This was not important... Daniel Gittard raised the façade with its 4 Doric columns. In 1688, they started to fit out the Virgin chapel, based on plans by Libéral-Bruant... and the church was finally dedicated!