Église Saint-Sulpice - Paris, France
Posted by: manchanegra
N 48° 51.054 E 002° 20.028
31U E 451127 N 5411095
Quick Description: Saint-Sulpice is a Roman Catholic church in Paris, France, on the east side of the Place Saint-Sulpice, in the Luxembourg Quarter of the VIe arrondissement.
Location: Île-de-France, France
Date Posted: 10/28/2011 6:10:00 AM
Waymark Code: WMCYZH
Saint-Sulpice is a Roman Catholic church in Paris, France, on the east side of the Place Saint-Sulpice, in the Luxembourg Quarter of the VIe arrondissement. At 113 metres long, 58 metres in width and 34 metres tall, it is only slightly smaller than Notre-Dame and thus the second largest church in the city. It is dedicated to Sulpitius the Pious. During the 18th century, an elaborate gnomon, the Gnomon of Saint-Sulpice, was constructed in the church.
The present church is the second building on the site, erected over a Romanesque church originally constructed during the 13th century. Additions were made over the centuries, up to 1631. The new building was founded in 1646 by parish priest Jean-Jacques Olier (1608–1657) who had established the Society of Saint-Sulpice, a clerical congregation, and a seminary attached to the church.
Work continued for about 140 years: The church was mostly completed in 1732; the chancel is the work of Christophe Gamard, Louis Le Vau and Daniel Gittard, but the work was completed by Gilles-Marie Oppenord, a student of François Mansart, in 1714-1745.
The façade is an unorthodox essay of 1732 by Giovanni Niccolò Servandoni in which a double Ionic colonnade, Ionic order over Roman Doric with loggias behind them unify the bases of the corner towers with the façade; this fully classicising statement was made at the height of the Rococo. Its revolutionary character was recognised two decades later by the architect and teacher Jacques-François Blondel, who illustrated the elevation of the façade in his Architecture française, remarking, "The entire merit of this building lies in the architecture itself... and its greatness of scale, which opens a practically new road for our French architects." It has been modified by Jean Chalgrin and others. Large arched windows fill the vast interior with natural light. The result is a simple two-storey west front with three tiers of elegant columns. The overall harmony of the building is, some say, only marred by the mismatched two towers; one, to the neoclassical design of Jean François Chalgrin, was added shortly before the French Revolution but its matching tower was never begun, and the former tower remains.
At either side of the front door are two enormous shells given to King Francis I by the Venetian Republic. The two shells rest on rock-like bases, sculpted by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle.
Nineteenth-century redecorations to the interior, after some Revolutionary damage when Saint-Sulpice became a Temple of Victory, include the murals of Eugène Delacroix, that adorn the walls of the side chapel. The most famous of these are Jacob Wrestling with the Angel and Heliodorus Driven from the Temple. Jules Massenet set an act of Manon at fashionable Saint-Sulpice.
Another point of interest dating from the time of Saint-Sulpice serving as a Temple of Victory is a printed sign over the center door of the main entrance. One can still barely make out the printed words ‘’Le Peuple Francais Reconnoit L’Etre Suprême Et L’Immortalité de L’Âme’’, The people of France recognize the supreme being and the immortality of the soul. Further questions of interest are the fate of the frieze that this must have replaced, the persons responsible for placing this manifesto and the reasons that it has been left in place.
The Marquis de Sade and Charles Baudelaire were baptized in Saint-Sulpice (1740 and 1821, respectively), and the church also saw the marriage of Victor Hugo to Adèle Foucher (1822). Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon and Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans, grand daughters of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan are buried in the church. Louise de Lorraine, duchesse de Bouillon was buried here in 1788, wife of Charles Godefroy de La Tour d'Auvergne.
In 1727 Jean-Baptiste Languet de Gergy, then priest of Saint-Sulpice, requested the construction of a gnomon in the church as part of its new construction, to help him determine the time of the equinoxes and hence of Easter. A meridian line of brass was inlaid across the floor and ascending a white marble obelisk, nearly eleven metres high, at the top of which is a sphere surmounted by a cross. The obelisk is dated 1743.
In the south transept window a small opening with a lens was set up, so that a ray of sunlight shines onto the brass line. At noon on the winter solstice (21 December), the ray of light touches the brass line on the obelisk. At noon on the equinoxes (21 March and 21 September), the ray touches an oval plate of copper in the floor near the altar.
Constructed by the English clock-maker and astronomer Henry Sully, the gnomon was also used for various scientific measurements: This rational use may have protected Saint-Sulpice from being destroyed during the French Revolution.
Commune (from Merimee DB): Paris 06
Adresse (from Merimee DB): Place Saint-Sulpice
Dénomination (from Merimee DB): Eglise Saint-Sulpice
Eléments protégés MH (from Merimee DB):
Eglise Saint-Sulpice : classement par arrêté du 20 mai 1915
Epoque de construction (from Merimee DB): 17e siècle ; 18e siècle ; 19e siècle
Date de protection MH (Merimee DB): 5/20/1915
Relevant Website: [Web Link]
Photo with MH logo pictured included?: no
[EN] Include at minimum a complete sentence which reflects your experience visiting the site and upload a photo taken by you at the site.
[FR] Ecrivez au moins une phrase complète qui décrira votre expérience lors de la visite et téléchargez une photo du site prise par vous.