Sainte Elisabeth de Hongrie Church

The Sainte Elisabeth de Hongrie Church, built 1628-46, was once part of a Franciscan convent. Elisabeth was a 13th century Hungarian princess who supported the Franciscan movement, died young, became a symbol of Christian charity and was canonized only a few years after her death.

On the below plan from 1739 you can see the convent and the church placed between the priory Saint-Martin-des-Champs (Saint Martin in the Fields) – now the National Conservatory for Arts and Crafts and the “Arts-et-Métiers” Museum (see previous posts here and here) and the The Temple (see previous posts here).

The Revolution and later the Haussmannian reshaping of Paris has now left us with just the church.

Most of the interior, including the stained glass windows and the organ are from the 19th century. The church had to be redecorated after it had been used as a warehouse during the first revolutionary years. Around the ambulatory you can find nice wooden 17th century bas-reliefs, brought there from the Saint Vaast Abbey in northern France. 

There is an indirect link to the Knight Templars who occupied The Temple until the order was brutally dissolved early 14th century. The Sainte Elisabeth Church is today the church of the Knights of the Order of Malta, somehow indirectly the heirs of the Knight Templars. We can see their banners in the church.  


Appreciated publicity?

Buildings, even official ones, under renovation are more and more covered by tarpaulins – and publicity. Many people find this disturbing, which is understandable. However and at least, it means that part of the renovating costs are covered by this publicity. Even if the contribution may be modest compared to the total costs, it seems however that this, which you may call sponsoring, often can represent millions of €uros.

… and when you e.g. look on the result here (for more details see posts here and here) I guess you must somehow be satisfied.  Or…?

So far... no publicity on the Panthéon. 


A squeezed in church

The Saint Michel Church, generally referred to as “Saint Michel de Batignolles”, although not quite in the “Batignolles” area of Paris (rather in what is referred to as “Epinettes”) is squeezed in amongst some narrow streets and apartment buildings.

It seems that the original plans were to have it built in the corner, referred to as “La Fourche” (the fork), where the Avenue de Clichy splits into the continuation of Avenue de Clichy and to Avenue Saint Ouen. (We can easily find this “fork” and future avenues on all old plans of Paris and surroundings - the roads then leading to the villages Clichy and Saint Ouen .)

The construction of the church lasted quite a while, 1913-38, obviously disturbed by WWI and, I imagine, lack of funds.

Not easy to illustrate the interior, quite dark with some small windows and somewhat surprising light installations. The church is quite large and can accommodate 2500 people.

The organ is quite different from most church organs and can almost be referred to as a cinema organ. Its origins are from what then was the Hotel Majestic, Avenue Kléber, and was acquired in 1936 when the hotel closed and became State property (later housing the Supreme Army Command during the Nazi occupation, becoming  a Conference Centre – where e.g. the Vietnam War peace talks took place – and now again transformed to a luxury hotel).

The church architect (Bernard Haubold) was also involved in the restoration of the famous Mont Saint Michel Abbey. The other link to this abbey is the statue of Saint Michel, which can be found on the top of the abbey... and on the Saint Michel Church tower. They are two slightly different versions due to the sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet (1824-1910). (A third version can be found at the Orsay Museum). Among the most famous Frémiet statues still left, there is of course the “Joan of Arc” (Place des Pyramides). Frémiet was a specialist of animal sculptures, an example is this elephant outside the Orsay Museum. The statue we find on the church had to be taken down after a violent storm in 1990, but was fortunately saved and was put back in 2007. 

Nothing really to do with the above, but here are some spring greetings from Paris!



Street lamps...

Here are some example of street lamps in Paris. Some are really old, some are new, in old design. I feel it helps a lot to the beauty of the city. I tried to combine them with some typical Paris landmarks. Hopefully you will recognise most of them!

Now, of course, it may be logical to show them nighttime. Here are some examples. It's difficult to harmonise between often too strong light and the more or less black background. I did my best. 


The Temple area

In my last post about the “Carreau du Temple” I promised to revert with something more.

Despite the fact that I already wrote (see here) about the long history of this area, I cannot resist against some more history and mapping.

Just round the corner of the covered market, you can find some kind of wall map of what the area looked like in 1793, before some demolition was started. Some illustrations “stolen” on the net, show the aspect of what once was the home of the Templars by the end of the 18th century, when Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were imprisoned in the old tower / castle-keep. This tower stood just in front of where now the 3rd arrondissement Town Hall stands – see the blue marks on the pavement.  

I also made a comparison between today and the Turgot-plan from 1739 and with the city plan from 1790 (the tower encircled).

I amused myself by trying to incorporate these plans with the present look of Paris.

In the beginning of the 19th century the area was completely remodelled. We could then find the “Rotonde du Temple” (already there since 1788) and wooden covered markets were added early 19th century. This became an important centre for clothes and tissue merchants.

All this was replaced around 1863 and a vast area was covered by a steel, brick and glass complex, still specializing in the same trade. In this illustration from the end of the 19th century, we can see what it all looked like – including a new little park and the local Town Hall (3rd arrondissment).

Four of originally six pavilions were dismantled 1905 and today remain only the two we know. The space of the four disappeared ones is now occupied by some imposing, well decorated, official and school buildings from the early 19th century.

So, now coming to what we can see today. My previous post already described the remodelled covered market buildings. What is really attractive is the beautiful little park, Square du Temple, opened around 1860, once again thanks to J-C Alphand, who was involved in the creation of the majority of the still existing Paris parks and squares. (I mentioned him in a number of my previous posts.) I found some of this year’s first ducklings.  

The area is getting more and more attractive for strolling around, with a great number of cafés, restaurants, art galleries, libraries, flower shops…

In one of the courtyards I found this beautiful and very alert cat.