I was planning on adding Notre Dame to the blog this week, and then the sad events of this afternoon occurred. Notre Dame (“Our Lady) is in the center of Paris, France and is nearly 900 years old. When I was in the city, I took a few hundred photos from as many areas as I could and left without a doubt of why it’s one of the most visited churches in the world. Despite the destruction from today’s fire, the church fared better than I would have expected and hopefully will be restored over time. The Roman Catholic Cathedral has survived destructive events in the past, including desecration by atheists during the French Revolution and World Wars, so there’s reason to be optimistic. There’s also a lot of history about this church online, so I’ll just add a couple more links if you want to read more.
Saint Marie Madeleine, or La Madeleine is a Neo-classical style Roman Catholic church started in the late 1700s, but finally consecrated in 1842. Originally, the design with the columned exterior and alcoves for statues was designated by Napoleon to be a memorial to the “Glory of the Great Army”. Later, after Napoleon’s fall, King Louis XVIII decided that the structure would be a church, dedicated to Mary Magdalene. The composer Chopin’s funeral was held here the year the church opened. It still has daily Masses and can be visited at its location in the 8th arrondissement in Paris, France.
There are several large, ornate churches in Paris that I’d never heard of before I visited. Saint-Sulpice is a Roman Catholic Church a bit away from the main tourist areas but it’s the second largest church in Paris, France, after Notre Dame. The Romanesque church now in this spot (replacing an earlier building) was started in 1646. It features a spectacular Great Organ dating from 1862 and is used for regular organ concerts in addition to Mass.