Saint Sulpice Church

Founded by the priest Jean-Jacques Olier and built by the three architects Gamard, Le Vau and Gittard, Saint Sulpice Church is a monument to architecture.

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l'hôtel des saint pères église saint sulpice

At the Hôtel des Saints Pères we invite you to discover the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, and more especially the Saint-Sulpice Churcha masterpiece of French classical style that contains a large number of works of art, such as the frescoes by Delacroix

 

The Paris meridian

In 1646, Anne of Austria placed the first stone for the reconstruction of the church of Saint-Sulpice, whose architecture remained true to the medieval tradition. Nevertheless, the church was set apart from contemporary constructions by its grandiose dimensions, almost the same as Notre Dame's, so it was able to welcome the numerous and often wealthy population of Faubourg Saint-Germain, whose only parish church was Saint-Sulpice.

One of the church's curiosities is without any doubt the meridian of Paris, or the gnomon, a measuring tool allowing the exact position of the Sun to be established at a particular time of year. On the church floor a line can be seen, representing the meridian, which is crossed at noon each day by the Sun in the form of a ray of light passing through a hole in the building's glass roof. With the different seasons, the Sun, as it gets higher, crosses the line at a different place. 

 

The works in the church

Saint-Sulpice is mentioned on several occasions in literature, beginning with Manon Lescaut, the work by Abbé Prévost, and is the setting for a scene in The Da Vinci Code. The church is also mentioned in Balzac's novel Splendeurs et Misères des Courtisanes.
One spoke of the Saint-Sulpice style in reference to liturgical objects that were sold in great numbers in the neighbourhood of Saint-Sulpice Church. The term is used to describe religious souvenirs, known in French as bondieuseries, which refers to objects such as statuettes of saints.

Saint-Sulpice Church contains many masterpieces of religious art. The Saint-Sulpice chapel was painted in the 19th century by DelacroixThree frescoes by the master painter embellish the chapel: Jacob Wrestling with the AngelSaint Michael overcoming the Demon and The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple depict the fruitless revolt of Man against God. The church also houses two gigantic shells that are used as fonts, and were painted by the artist Pigalle. Taking inspiration from Rococco art, Michel-Ange Slodtz made an impressive tomb for the priest Languet de Cergy

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