Saint-Étienne du Mont

Saint-Étienne du Mont (91)

Genevieve, patron saint of Paris, produced several miracles during her life and saved the city quite a few times. For example, she managed to keep Attila the Hun away from Paris in 422.

This charming church guards the tomb and a reliquary of Saint Genevieve inside. And it is well worth the visit just to see its magnificent 16th and 17th century stained-glass windows.

In this church, built between 1492 and 1655 Gothic styles are mixed with Renaissance.

The outside appearance of the church is rather curious, caused by the visual imbalance that resulted from the destruction of the abbey that was attached to it. The first parish church dedicated to Saint Stephen from the 13th century was rebuilt between 1492 and 1586. The portico of the main façade is also curious. Three superimposed pediments situated at different levels are characterised by different geometric forms.

As a curiosity, on entering you will find on the ground a plaque that indicates the spot where, in 1857, a priest expelled from the priesthood stabbed an archbishop.

Its interior has a typical flamboyant Gothic style ground plan despite the renaissance style decoration. In the nave the typical semicircular arch is replaced by a mitral arch. The vaults that dominate the choir are decorated with hanging keystones. All of them differ from each other.

The stained-glass windows of the church are original and among them features that of the fourth chapel of the right-hand nave. “The parable of the guests” was produced by in 1568 by Nicolas Pinaigrier.

In one of the corners you will find a chapel with the tomb of Saint Genevieve, seriously damaged during the Revolution, and close by is a highly ornamented reliquary that contains one of the saint’s fingers.

We would highlight the paintings you can see dedicated to Saint Genevieve. One of them represents the procession of the reliquary of the Saint organised on the 10th of August 1696 to plead for clemency for the serious drought that the kingdom suffered, the work of Nicolás Largillère, and the other painting imploring the saint to stop the terrible rainfall, work of François de Troy.

The pulpit is a piece of art in carved wood from 1650 and is supported by a statue of Samson.

The magnificent gallery was one of the few that escaped the destruction of the churches during the Revolution and can be admired just as it was built. Its architecture is Gothic, although its decoration is inspired by Italian Renaissance. The side doors are from the 17th century. 

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