Église Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, France, Paris

The Church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois is situated at 2, Place du Louvre, Paris 75001; the nearest Métro station is Louvre-Rivoli. Located at the center of Paris, by the Seine and near the Louvre, this former parish of the kings of France is generally regarded as the Church of the Louvre. Founded in the 7th century, it was rebuilt many times over several centuries, revealing several mixtures of style, Roman, Gothic, Renaissance. The most striking exterior feature is the porch, by Jean Gaussel (1435–39), with a rose window, and a balustrade above which encircles the whole church. Among the treasures preserved inside are a wooden 15th century statue of Saint Germain, a Saint-Vincent of stone carved at the same time, a Flemish altarpiece carved out of wood, the famous churchwarden's pew where important people sat, made in 1683 by François Le Mercier from drawings by Charles Le Brun. During the Wars of Religion, its bell called "Marie" sounded on the night of August 23, 1572, marking the beginning of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Thousands of Huguenots, who visited the city for a royal wedding, were killed by the mob of Paris. Splendid stained glass still remains, in spite of plunderings during the French Revolution. Alexandre Boëly was organist at the church from 1840 to 1851. The north tower was added in 1860 and stands opposite the Mairie of the 1st Arrondissement (1859).