19.11.10

Saint-Merri Church ... and the Stravinsky Fountain

When visiting the Centre Pompidou (see previous post), you would normally also have a look at the Stravinsky Fountain (see previous post), but you would possibly neglect the Saint-Merri Church behind the Fountain.
Although I already reported on the Fountain, maybe a few more pictures, as it has recently been renovated. The problem with modern sculptures, especially if they are supposed to move and threw water like these Saint Phalle – Tinguely ones, is that renovations are needed now and then.
The Saint-Merri Church - named after an abbot who died in 700, buried here, also referred to as Medericus, Méderic or Merry - was in its present form constructed in the beginning of the 16th century in a late gothic style. The bell tower, rather the campanile, contains the oldest Paris bell, from 1331!

The 1650 organ has during the centuries bee modified by some famous organ-buiders (Clocquot, Cavaillé-Coll...) and among the organists there are some famous names like Saint-Saëns.

You would believe that the stained glass windows, as in many churches, have suffered by the Revolution, but it seems that part of the stained glass was replaced by transparent glass already before the Revolution as the interior was too dark.
Not only modern sculptures, but also old churches need to be restored, which is obvious when you look around the main entrance.
Preceding the mass, there are concerts every Saturday afternoon by a choir of excellent reputation (“Académie Vocale de Paris”), which has also performed at e.g. Westminster Abbey and is booked for several NYC concerts (Saint Thomas, Saint John, Saint Patrick, Trinity…). Maybe more surprising; some of the side chapels are today used for art exhibitions.

38 comments:

Mystica said...

I didnt know churches could be used for art exhibitions. Does this mean that this is no longer a church?

Trotter said...

Hi Peter! Renovated again? I was in that church once: the only time time I found it open when getting around... Lovely!!

Blogtrotter Two is facing the legendary question: «What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?»
Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Virginia said...

P,
I"m so glad to see the inside of this lovely church. Not sure why I've been there so many times and not gone inside, maybe in janvier. I'd love to hear the concert you mentioned.

I love the fountain. It's always a surprise as to what's working and what is not !:) This last visit, I think I was more enamored with the children playing soccer in the plaza . And then of course the World Cup scores! HA
V

V Rakesh said...

Absolutely wonderful! Surely a monument!

James said...

I've only been that church once. It's very interesting to reaad some history about it. I didn't even know it's name until now.

Starman said...

I'm not sure if I've ever entered Saint-Merri.

Peter (the other) said...

Between you and Adam I will need about two weeks this coming spring, to visit all the places you have piqued my interest in. As Virginia, I have walked past it many times but usually by the alley around back (in a rush to get away from the throngs) and not noticing an inviting entrance. Saint-Saëns ghost, the organ and choir, I shall go. Thanks.

Owen said...

Hi Peter,
I love St Merri, that's where la Grenouille and I got married in December 1992... and then we had a big party in a private rented place on the Ile de la Cité, rue Chanoinesse, a block away from Notre Dame. Many thanks for bringing back some very fine memories...

joanny said...

Peter

The interior is even more magnificent then what I imaged it to be.

great photo's
have a lovely week end.
cheers,
joanny

Shopgirl said...

Reading your blog make me miss Paris so much. I had been there several times but haven't been to this church. Looks so beautiful. I miss and like those modern sculptures too...

Grace said...

Oh, my. This is beautiful. I hope to study there in a year's time, reading your blog makes me so excited. Have a great weekend. (:

iglesiasoviedo said...

Magnifica serie, te felicito la próxima vez que este en Paris visitare esta iglesias, gracias.
Te sigo.

ALAIN said...

Les filets de protection contre la chute de pierres semblent avoir mis les saints en cage.

Anonymous said...

Next time I'm back in Paris I shall go inside this church and admire its great beauty. Maybe the ghost of M. Camille will play "The Swan" for me. Then I'll die and go to heaven! Maria O. Russell

Ruth said...

Such painstaking work to restore a church of this size, an incredible effort!

Love the Stravinsky fountain. It's good to remember to play! So don't forget that this weekend, Peter! :)

Cergie said...

Un recoin assez peu harmonieux et composite que je situe beaucoup mieux que le jardin Anne Franck.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I had already decided that I must see this church after your photos and background, but to think that Owen was married here... now, it is definite!

I'll be there in two weeks! Looking forward to seeing you again, Peter.

ParisBreakfasts said...

I love Paris

I love Paris

I love Paris

An I love Paris kinda person
:)

Flartus said...

Wow, I remember the exterior of that church being almost black! I see it's already been cleaned in the last decade or so.

Definitely time for me to re-visit!

Cezar and Léia said...

Bonjour Peter!
The Church is magnificent, I imagine myself there and thanks so much for sharing these pictures, for the different details, angles,the collages, awesome view from there!
:)
Hugs
and a lovely weekend,
Léia

rauf said...

Simply magnificent Peter. And i admire your efforts compiling pictures of stunning clarity and detail and your description of them for our viewing and reading pleasure.

i always admit that religion is a great source of inspiration, however misplaced it may be. We have seen best or art architecture music performing arts and literature inspired by religion.

Have an enjoyable weekend Peter

claude said...

Elle est très belle cette église. Plus belle que le centre Pompidou.
Je me demande si la fontaine serait plus belle sans toutes ces sculptures que je n'affectionne pas particulièrement.

BLOGitse said...

wow...beautiful...
Here in Helsinki it's -2C brrrrr....cold and dark!
Have a nice weekend!

sonia a. mascaro said...

So beautiful stained glass windows!
We always have wonderful places, buildings, streets, houses, gardens, concerts, art exposition... to see in Paris!
Thanks Peter for sharing those photos and explanations.

Have a nice weekend!

Paris Paul said...

This whole area, Pompidou included, is a fun area on Sunday. While not very large, this whole neighborhood (on Sunday) has a kind of 'New York' vibe I don't usually feel in Paris. Thanks for sharing, Peter!

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Hi Peter! It's been forever since I've had time to blog or visit blogs. I forgot how wonderful it feels coming to your blog and revisiting the magical world of Paris. Every time I come here, I want to open the front door and catch the next ride to the airport, hop a plane and land in Paris, France. :) One never forgets how Paris made them feel.

Churches were one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Europe. I often wondered about the people who walked through the doors of these buildings, hoping to find answers and solutions, healing for whatever sort of pain they were dealing with.

OK, I am in one of those moods today so I'll stop now. Great photos as always. Thanks for the reminder of Paris and allowing me to visit a world that had a wonderful impact on my heart, mind and soul...one that seems so far away today.

arabesque said...

reading about this quaint church, its recent renovations and art whatnot, only makes me realized yet how far we are here in terms of valuing and restoring our old structure. ^-^
beautiful info.

JScott said...

I always love the intricate churches. Must have cost a pretty penny to have all of that done.

Marie-Noyale said...

Je vais me renseigner sur ces concerts...

Liveaboard Charter said...

The church is majestic and the stained glass are stunning.

Fashion Wholesale said...

The church is beautiful inside and out. I hope more and more people will see the wonder of this establishment.

forex day trading said...

The park across the church is also nice to look at because of the modern art displayed on the park.

Greg Capra said...

Its good to know that modern sculptures and old ones are side by side.

Buying Commercial Property said...

To learn about the history of the church and how it with stand the revolution is quite a feat it self.

caterpillar said...

Amazing pictures..

Jeanie said...

Hi, Peter -- I've been so involved with "life as we know it" that I've been a bad visitor -- and now I'm seeing you visited one of my favorite spots in Paris -- and also helped solve the mystery of badly logged photos -- the Sunburst altar in my photos IS St. Merri!

I'm also loving the lights on the Champs and throughout Paris. Beautiful. Oh, dear -- I've fallen into your beautiful blog, reminiscing about Paris, and I don't want to leave!

martinealison said...

Je découvre avec délice l'ensemble de vos photos... Une très agréable promenade, merci beaucoup.
Gros bisous

Terry Tolentino said...

My daughter and I visited Paris last May and went to the Pompidou Center and walked to the Stravinski fountain. Unfortunately we did not stop to see the interior of the church. Thanks for showing the pictures to show us what we missed!