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A little history of Saint-Sulpice church in Paris

The façade | / CC-BY-NC-SA
Parish church Saint-Sulpice church in Paris

They re-raised a small church in the 13th century, a dependency of Saint-Germain-des-Prés abbey. But in the 16th century, it had to be extended: they added the nave and 6 lateral chapels in 1614. But it was too small!

In 1643, they decided to raise a brand new church: architect Christophe Gamard was put in charge of the construction, and the site began in 1646. The duke d’Orléans laid down the first stone.

But about 10 years later, while the church was almost completed, they realized that it was too small, again! They hired a new architect (Louis Le Vau) and here we go again…

Queen Ann of Austria laid the first stone down in 1655, then Daniel Guittard replaced Le Vau when he died: he raised the choir and the aisles, finished in 1672.

But in 1678, they had financial troubles… no more money! So, the site stopped. Hey! With all those failed constructions, they literally threw money down the drain! The site only went on in 1718, after a collection. The nave was completed in 1736 and the famous columns façade raised by Servandoni, began in 1733, was finished in 1745. Finally!

Few months later, the church could be consecrated. But, there was a last problem… Towers! They weren’t high enough! A first alteration began in 1749, and a reconstruction in 1777, by the famous architect Jean-Baptiste Chalgrin: this one raised the northern tower.

The church was transformed into a Temple dedicated to Victory, during the French Revolution. In 1793, they even put a telegraph on the bell-tower! 6 years later, general Moreau and Bonaparte were welcomed after the Egyptian campaign with a giant feast in their honour, in the temple...

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