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Top 10 Sacred Sites of Paris

Updated on November 13, 2010

Paris is a multicultural city and consequently has a variety of places of worship in Paris to serve it's diverse population. In this city we are lucky enough to have some of the world's most beautiful examples of sacred architecture such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Mosquee de Paris, Sacre Coeur and here is a list of the Top 10 religious locations that you can see, visit and attend in Paris.

Top 10 Sacred Sites of Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral (pasaporteblob.com)
Notre Dame Cathedral (pasaporteblob.com)

1. Notre Dame Cathedral

Place du Parvis Notre-Dame 75004, Paris

Metro: Cite (Line 4), Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame ( RER B, C)

World famous and immortalised in Victor Hugo's 'Hunchback of Notre Dame', this Catholic cathedral is one of the world's finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Taking over 180 years to build, construction began in 1160, commissioned by Maurice de Sully the Bishop of Paris. Finally completed in 1345, it is an enormous feat of architecture, designed by numerous architects over the years, giving each facade slightly different elements, adding to it's charm. This stunning cathedral has been the site of many historic events including the royal wedding of James V of Scotland to Madeleine of France in 1537, the coronation of Napoleon I in 1804 and the Requiem Mass of General Charles de Gaulle in 1970. Today it stands proudly in the centre of Paris on Ile de la Cite for us all to admire. The cathedral hosts many masses throughout the day, please consult cathedraledeparis.com

Sacre Coeur (arnaudfrichphoto.com)
Sacre Coeur (arnaudfrichphoto.com)

2. Sacre Coeur

35, rue du Chevalier de la Barre 75018, Paris

Metro: Anvers (Line 2), Abbesses (Line 12)

With one of the best views of the romantic Paris skyline, Sacre Coeur is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris, Sacre Coeur is a Roman Catholic church on the hill of Montmartre, north Paris. A beautiful landmark of Paris, construction began 1875 and was completed in 1914, having been worked on by 6 different architects. The style of the church is unlike any you've seen, in a Romano-Byzantine style with national symbols of France such as a statue of Joan of Arc and of King Louis IX. There are a number of services held throughout the day, please consult sacre-coeur-montmartre.com.

Hammam - Mosquee de Paris (linternaute.com)
Hammam - Mosquee de Paris (linternaute.com)

3. Mosquee De Paris

39 Rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 75005, Paris

Metro: Place Monge (Line 7)

The third largest mosque in Europe was built in 1922 after World War I as a sign of France's gratitude towards their colonial fighters who helped the French during the war. It was built in the Mudejar style, similar to those found in Morocco and Andalucia and is based on the el-Qaraouiyyin mosque in Fez. This grand Mosque is situated in a compound where you'll also find the Islamic Cultural Centre, a hammam, restaurant, souk and tea rooms. During World War II, the seniors of this mosque helped members of the Paris Jewish community escape persecution by providing fake Muslim birth certificates and giving them safe shelter in the area. Guided visits are available. A very interesting site to visit where you could spend the day.

Alexander Nevski Cathedral (i.pbase.com)
Alexander Nevski Cathedral (i.pbase.com)

4. Eglise Russe Saint-Alexandre Nevski

12 rue Daru 75008, Paris

Metro: Ternes (Line 2)

This Russian Orthodox church, known as a cathedral, was inaugurated in 1861 and was built in the Byzantino-Muscovite style with 5 gold domes, a Greek cross and gold mosaic iconography. It's a beautiful church and it is here that Picasso married Russian dancer Olga Koklova in 1918 and where the funeral of Wassily Kandinsky took place. It is named after Saint-Alexandre Nevski who was a national hero in the 13th Century. Mass: Sat 18:00 / Sun 10:00.

La Victoire Synagogue (synagogo.blogg.org)
La Victoire Synagogue (synagogo.blogg.org)

5. Synagogue La Victoire

44 rue de la Victoire - 75009 Paris

Metro: Le Peletier (Line 7), Notre Dame de Lorette (Line 12)

The second largest synagogue in Europe, it was built in 1874 by Parisian architect Alfred-Philibert Aldrophe and can seat over 1,800 people with services conducted according to the Ashkenazi-Alsacian tradition. It is a Romanesque synagogue with Byzantine elements and an overwhelmingly large interior, well lit by 12 large stained glass windows representing the tribes of Israel. For visits, please contact the synagogue - group visits can be arranged. Services: Mon-Fri 7:45, 18:30 / Shabbat 9:30, 20:30 (Mincha) / Sun 8:30.

Lower Chapel of Sainte Chapelle (Sacred-Destinations.com)
Lower Chapel of Sainte Chapelle (Sacred-Destinations.com)

6. Sainte-Chapelle

4 Boulevard du Palais 75001, Paris

Metro: Cite (Line 4), Saint-Michel (Line 4)

Sainte Chapelle is a beautifully decorative Gothic chapel on the island in the Seine, Ile de la Cite. Inaugurated in 1248, it was commissioned by Louis IX and has of course been restored since, having suffered during the Revolution and flooding of the Seine. The chapel is a spectacular example of Gothic architecture and is wonderful on the eye with rich blues and golds, and magnificent stained glass windows which depict the bible story of humanity making it full of light and colour. Two thirds of the glass are original, dating back to 13th Century, however the Rose Windows were added in 15th Century. Entry fee applies.

Eglise Saint Jean de Montmartre (3.bp.blogspot.com)
Eglise Saint Jean de Montmartre (3.bp.blogspot.com)

7. Eglise Saint Jean de Montmartre

19 Rue des Abbesses 75018, Paris

Metro: Abbesses (Line 12)

For fans of Art Nouveau, this is one for you. Built between 1894 and 1904, it was designed by architect Anatole de Baudot, a student of Viollet-le-Duc and Henri Labrouste - two influential figures in the architecture of Paris. With a detailed gold mosaic facade, colourful stained glass windows and lighting emblematic of Art Nouveau, this church will delight the souls of art and architecture lovers. You can take a guided tour of the church on every fourth Sunday of the month at 16:00. Mass: Sat 18:30, Sun 10.30, Tues-Fri 12:15.

Synagogue Rue Pavee (frederictridonpics.com)
Synagogue Rue Pavee (frederictridonpics.com)

8. Synagogue Rue Pavee (Agoudas Hakehilos)

10 rue Pavee 75004, Paris

Metro: Saint Paul

Located in the Marais, central Paris, this tall and narrow synagogue was built in 1913 by Hector Guimard, the famous Art Nouveau architect, well known for designing the Paris Metropolitan entrances. His only religious construction, the organic elements of the Art Nouveau style can be seen both on the exterior and the interior in the form of the light fittings, benches and iron railings all designed by Guimard. In 1941, on Yom Kippur, this synagogue and six others in Paris, were dynamited during the Nazi occupation. Unfortunately it is not open to public visits unless you are a member of the congregation, but is worth viewing from the outside.

View of both churches from Rue Lafitte (dubourg.name)
View of both churches from Rue Lafitte (dubourg.name)

9. Eglise Notre Dame de Lorette

Rue de Chateaudun 75009, Paris

Metro: Notre Dame de Lorette (Line 12)

This Catholic church was built between 1823 and 1836 in a Neo-classical style and is situated in northern Paris. This area is known as Nouvelles Athenes which is emulated in the style of the church both in the exterior and interior which is surprisingly colourful. The church became known as Lorette, in reference to the numerous “loose” women that lived in the area serving as mistresses to the rich local businessmen. From Rue Lafitte you get the most wonderful view of the church with Sacre Coeur just behind it-best seen at nighttime. Mass: Mon 12:30, 18:45 / Tue-Fri 8:00, 12:30, 18:45 / Sat 11:00, 18:30 / Sun 9:30 (excl.July and August), 11:00, 18:30. Listen to the beautiful 19th century organ every Tues 13:15-13:45.

Mosquee al Fath (Flickr.com)
Mosquee al Fath (Flickr.com)

10. Mosquee Al Fath

8 rue des Poisonniers 75010, Paris

Metro: Chateau Rouge (Line 4)

If you are looking for an atypical mosque, here's one you won't see everyday. Surrounded by white walls on rue des Poisonniers, the mosque is covered by a tarpaulin, no roof, just a tarpaulin. You'd probably miss it if you were walking past but it is a functional mosque in the north of Paris. Nearby, if you're around on a Friday, you might see Muslims in there 100s, praying in the streets of the same area, an interesting sight to see.

References

wikipedia

sacre-coeur-montmartre.com

lavictoire.org

mosquee-de-paris.net

parisbestlodge.com

parisrama.com

sacred-destinations.com

discoverfrance.net

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