26.6.09

Saint-Séraphin-de-Sarov


There seems to be some 16 orthodox churches in Paris, whereof five Russian ones depending on the patriarch of Constantinople. In previous posts, we have already visited the Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky Cathedral and the Saint-Serge-de-Radonège church. Here is a third very modest and particular one, Saint-Séraphin-de-Sarov.

As with the Saint-Serge church, you will not find it spontaneously, you have to push a gate at 91, rue Lecourbe, and you will discover some old buildings, a courtyard, a bit of green space ... and a small wooden building, which sine 1933 is a church for especially the local Russian community. A lot of Russians immigrated after the 1917 revolution and many of them settled around here, in the 15th arrondissement; in the 1930’s maybe 10% of the population of this arrondissement had Russian origins. So, they needed a church. They used some old sheds on this property to build it.




The church is devoted to one of the most considered Russian saints, Seraphim-of-Sarov, who spent many years as a hermit in the woods. This is obviously the reason why it was decided to save two trees and build the church around them. You can – with good eyes – distinguish the trunk of one of the trees, inside the church, on the below photos.

I wish you a nice weekend!

40 comments:

GMG said...

Hi Peter! So, we are getting to the hidden gems!! Excellent pictures, great post!
Have a great weekend!

Mo said...

Oh I hadven't seen this church. On my list for next time.

*SparkleMirror* Kiln-Fired Art Studio said...

Good Morning Peter (evening here),

It is so interesting that one enters that door labeled "91" to arrive at the calming nature of Saint-Séraphin-de-Sarov. This piques my sense of adventure (hidden pathways and all). The cobblestone and foliage lend a deeply meditative quality, and that tree growing within the church is very odd, yet deeply imbued with symbolism. And look at all of the characteristically Russian religious iconography.

Thanks for yet another journey into the unseen Paris.
Very deeply satisfying stuff...
David

Virginia said...

Peter,
What a beautiful little church. It seems to be such an inimate place to worship. I would love to see this first hand. ( Add it to the NEW list please). I have Greek Orthodox friends. This would interest them as well. I love the tree trunk that was used in the interior. Your photos give us a real sense of this place.
Bon weekend to you as well!
V

Catherine said...

Tu l'as troubée ! Et en plus tu as trouvé la clef ! C'était mon regret de n'avoir pas réussi à jeter un coup d'oeil à lintérieur.
C'est aussi beau et insolite à l'intérieur qu'à l'extérieur.

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Splendid pictures! Very exquisite! Thanks for sharing!

Wishing you a very good weekend!

Carole said...

Superbe Peter.
Tu as combien de clés sur toi ?
Bon week-end !

Olivier said...

j'adore cette architecture, les bulbes bleus MAGNIFIQUES. et tu as eut le droit de faire des photos a l'interieure, bravo c'est rare dans les eglises orthodoxes (photos volées peut-être ;o) )

Bettina said...

I love the way you take us to these "secret" places and share the story behind it.
You have really captured the spirit og this place in your photos.

Have a nice weekend !

Bettina said...

BTW Virginia; I have been to your blog a lot, and I love your Paris photos and enjoy that you're a real Paris freak like myself.
But for some reason I can't leave a comment in your commentbox, so now I'll borrow Peters and hope you'll see it.

hpy said...

Décidément, tu es partout! (Je suppose que tu fouilles pas mal pour trouver tout ce que tu nous montres.)

Margarida Pereira said...

I simply love to see Paris trough your eyes and to learn so much about a city thought I knew 'well'...
:))

Ruth said...

Oh I love that. This is the kind of church I like, one with a tree in it.

Adam said...

A very spiritual week for you Peter! How do you find these little gems? I much prefer this little wood cabin to the church in your previous post.

Cezar and Léia said...

Adorable tree trunk inside the Church!
So different!
Great post!
Léia :-)

Thérèse said...

The trunk is incredible...

Shammickite said...

What an interesting place! You certainly find the most fascinating hidden corners of Paris for your devoted followers. Those tree trunks are quite unusual... inside the church! How did you know this little gem existed... do you have Russian friends who took you there?

alice said...

Peter, "the man who opens the gates"! Et l'intérieur de cette église, avec le tronc d'arbre le long des parois de bois, les icônes, les tapis, la lumière tamisée, une belle ambiance. Je ne connaissais pas cette croix qui ressemble un peu à la croix de Lorraine, mais je ne connais pas grand chose... Bon week end!

Cuckoo said...

Oh, such a beautiful church in a quiet place. Those trees actually have become part of the church.

James said...

I've seen Saint Alexandre Nevsky but not this great little place.

Leena said...

Orthodox churches are so rich in atmosphere and their happenings too, gold,colours and scents. I have been both in Orthodox weddings and funerals, they are quite different compared with our modest Lutheran happenings. I like their atmosphere.

Warm greetings from sunny Finland to you, Peter and thank you for your kind comments on my sites!

Virginia said...

Peter, may I borrow your blog for a moment, s'il vous plait???

Bettina,
I'm so glad you enjoy my Paris blog, in addition to Peter's of course! I'm sorry you can't leave a comment! I experienced that while in France. For some reason I couldn't leave comments for a few of my blog friends, but now that I'm home I can! I'm sure Peter won't mind if you leave a comment pour moi from time to time, right Peter??? :)
Merci,
V

scirish said...

Hello! I'm very glad to have stumbled upon your blog. The photographs are fantastic, I love the little church. For some reason, it reminds me of a church that would be found in the Swiss Alps. I hope you are enjoying your weekend (and taking more pictures).

Abe Lincoln said...

The photo with all the saints in it is really comfortable looking. It also reminds me of a series of paintings by a local artist showing each of the Native American Indian leaders.

Mona said...

That tree trunk is really a novelty!

Interesting post Peter, I saw an orthodox church here too a few days ago!

Cergie said...

Une extraordinaire trouvaille : une église autour de deux troncs avec des icones ; c'est si "organique", si vivant !
Quelque part cela me rappelle les pays... nordiques qui respectent les arbres et bâtissent les maisons autour en en tenant compte.
A La Haye de Routot dans l’Eure où se déroule un festival de l'ortie il y a deux chapelles chacune dans un if millénaire.
[Tu savais que "Séraphin" c'est d'ordinaire un ange ?]

Peter said...

GMG:
The hidden ones, the most interesting? :-)

Mo:
Please do, but it's not always open! :-)

SparkleMirror:
I appreciate a lot your very complete comments!

Peter said...

Virginia:
I believe we really have to revise your list, add, exclude...! :-)

Catherine:
C'est vrai, c'est toi qui avait posté sur cette église! Mais, je l'ai trouvé aussi dans quelques boquins! :-)

Rakesh:
I wish you (a bit late) the same thing!

Peter said...

Carole:
Pas tant que ça, malheureusement! :-)

Olivier:
Je n'ai pas demandé... et on m'a rien dit! :-)

Bettina:
Should secrets be kept or not? :-)

Peter said...

Bettina (bis):
Happy to serve as mailbox! :-)

hpy:
Oui, je fouille! :-)

Margarida:
I also thought I knew a bit, but I continue learning every day! :-)

Peter said...

Ruth:
Not so many churches with inside trees! Let's continue looking for them :-)

Adam:
I alos personally prefer this one! I have a few books and sometimes I may "steal" from other blogs! :-)

Léia:
Always kindly commenting! You are so nice!

Peter said...

Thérèse:
Yes, surprising! :-)

Shammickite:
As I said above, I have a few books ... and sometimes I "steal" from others! :-)

Peter said...

Alice:
J'ai cherché. Probablement un "suppedaneum cross". Tu peux trouver sur le web! :-)

Cuckoo:
Yes, so calm compared to the street! :-)

James:
Easier to find the Alexander Nevsky, but not necessarily to get in... only open now and then! :-)

Peter said...

Leena:
Yes, protestant churches and cermonies are very simple! Too simple may be? :-)

Virginia:
You are welcome! Free of charge! :-)

Peter said...

Scirish:
I hope it's not the last time you stuble upon my blog! Welcome any time! :-)

Abe:
Many, many saints! :-)

Mona:
Will you show it on your blog? :-)

Peter said...

Cergie:
Tu ne connaissais pas? :-)

Kate said...

These photos remind me of my two trips to the USSR; even then we were able to visit churches. I was awed by the art work, icons, and architecture.

Peter said...

Kate:
Orthodox churches have a special atmosphere!

Virginia said...

Thanks for not charging me "rent" here on your blog!
V

Peter said...

Virginia:
I'm a very generous nature! :-)