July 02, 2007

Saint-Pierre-de-Montmartre

Most of you have probably visited Montmartre one day and of course then also Sacré-Coeur. Not so many of you may have visited the church just behind, Saint-Pierre-de-Montmartre.


It is competing with Saint-Germain-des-Prés to be the oldest of the remaining Paris churches. It was built in the beginning of the 12th century as part of monastery and was consecrated by the then pope in person in 1147 and in presence of, among others, Saint-Bernard.

The French queen Adèle (Alix) de Savoie retired as abbess, died in 1154 and her tombstone is still to be seen in the church.

It seems also to be proven that the Society (Company) of Jesus was founded here in 1534 by Ignatius of Loyola and some of his fellow students at the University of Paris.

The church was more or less in ruins for a long time, but has been restored as from the latter part of the 19th century. In the meantime it had even been “crowned” by a telegraph tower. Many parts (windows, altars etc.) have been replaced, but the essential construction is a clear example of late Roman early Gothic style. There are obviously even some leftovers from the Roman and Merovingian temples that previously stood on the hill.

Just behind the church (behind a closed bronze door) is the oldest still existing Paris graveyard. It is not used any more and is opened for visitors only one day each year (November 1)*. This is really the top of Montmartre and was the place for pagan and Roman temples. The few remaining graves date mainly from the beginning of the 19th century.

*/ I managed to squeeze one hand and my camera through the narrow openings of the door to take some snapshots, but I plan to go back November 1.
You can find the original photos from the above patchworks on my other blog "Peter - photos".

22 comments:

GMG said...

Hi Peter,
Thanks for your interest and comments! Just came back from a weekend exercising one of my favourite sports: sea watching... in Algarve. So, I'm a bit tired. ;)
I'll try something tomorrow!
Saint Pierre is an amazing church; actually very few people visit it. It seems people are already overwhelmed with the Sacré Coeur to continue...

lyliane said...

Je ne connais pas cette église, quand je vais à Montmartre, comme tous les touristes, je vais au Sacré Coeur, il faudra donc que je fasse comme toi: l'école buissonnière.Merci pour l'histoire.

Ming_the_Merciless said...

I like your photos of stained glass windows. I have a hard time getting a good photo because either there isn't enough light (grainy photos) or if I increased the exposure time, it becomes blurry because my hands are not steady enough. I don't bring my tripod everywhere.

Anyway, nice photos.

MONA said...

this is just awesome & so beautiful! Thanks again for sharing this Treasure!!

Shionge said...

I did visit Sacre-Coeur and walked around the compound but think I must have missed this one.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful sight :D

Olivier said...

c'est une petite église qui est magnifique et pas très connu des touristes (enfin pas encore, car suite à ton post ;o). belles photos.
Tu savais qu'au Pérou, on fête la st peter (voir le blog de GiuCe )

hpy said...

A great explanation, as always. It's fabulous, all those little things we can see when walking around, not being in a hurry. Could it be that the more we have to see, the more we miss, hurrying from one compulsory visit to another.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Another interesting history lesson. Nice work Peter. And thank you for stopping at my blog and commenting on me as Moses.

Abraham Lincoln
—American Gold Finch—

richard said...

Is St Bernard the Bernard of Clairvaux? The main photo gives a good impression of the light and simplicity of the nave. I heard that the Church had been rebuilt after the French revolution, but maybe it was just restored

Nathalie said...

Tres tres beau, et je ne connaissais en effet pas cette eglise!

Ash said...

Beautiful images, as always!
Thanks for sharing.

ruth said...

I've been to the graveyard, but not inside the church. I wish I had, it looks wonderful! Love your photos.

Do you have a favorite church in Paris?

Peter said...

richard:
Yes, it's St.Bernard of Clarivaux, THE St. Bernard!

As I understand it was never really destroyed, just "abandoned" and used for other purposes. Consequently there was then a need to restore a lot, including windows, gates, altar...

ruth:
Lucky if you managed to get into the graveyard, because normally it's closed, except if you happened to be there a November 1. Also, I don't know since when they decided to close it.

No, I have no favourtie church. There are so many beuatiful ones, but of course Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle are something extra.

Zhang said...

J'ai une question, sans doute due au manque de la culture religieuse. Dans ton texte, tu as écrit:"This is really the top of Montmartre and was the place for pagan and Roman temples." Je pense que les "pagan" sont les gens non chrétiens ou qui croient en d'autres religions que le christianisme. Est-ce que j'ai raison? Si oui, pq c'est un endroit pour eux? Merci de me répondre.

Peter said...

zhang:
You are right, but it was a place for pagan and Roman temples BEFORE the christianism arrived, not any more.

Zhang said...

Compris, merci.

Sonia said...

Wonderful images and great collage, Peter, as always! I never have been to Paris, so thanks for sharing those beauty!

Kate said...

Great images and very good information. I followed the link about the Jesuits. Not very religious myself anymore, but the Jesuits have always had my respect. Now I must go to your other blog to see the photos.

GiuCe said...

what a beautiful pics! I liked so much your blog.

If you want to visit Peru, many people prefer the months from july to december, this is for the weather in highland, it's rainy. Coast and Jungle are a good option for you. Trujillo, my city, is in north of Peru.

Giu

Cergie said...

C'est ton église alors, Peter

Pierre est un des noms les plus fréquemment donné (il y a la basilique ST Pierre de Rome) du moins pour une cathédrale
Il y a Etienne aussi (Vienne en Autriche, Limoges, Toul etc)
Ce serait intéressant de retrouver ces chiffres, je les ai eues, pourtant

joanny said...

Peter

What a tour I am getting, soon I will know -- if I can remember and retain it all, many things about Paris the average tourist and perhaps some of the locals do not know.
In the meantime I am enjoying this armchair tour.
joanny

Esme said...

Thank you for this-I did not realize it is only open one day a year.