10.4.14

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!

   

9 comments:

Jane Hards Photography said...

So much, in so little space. Unusual. Love the Spring flora too.

martinealison said...

Bonjour cher Peter,

Oh là là ! J'avais manqué tous ces jolis billets !
Je viens de boire toute ma tasse de thé en ta compagnie... et quel régal, non pas pour le thé ! mais pour l'ensemble de toutes tes magnifiques photos accompagnées de toute ta correspondance.
En cette période de l'année, les villes sont similaires aux campagnes, fleuries... Un charmant spectacle.
Ton reportage sur les candélabres est excellent.
Et ce dernier billet sur l'église Saint Michel des Batignoles m'a beaucoup captivée.
Je suis toujours impressionnée lorsque j'aperçois une église presque étouffée, écrasée dans un pâté de maison. Lorsque je vais acheter mon matériel de peinture à Lyon, je passe tout près d'une église qui semble surgir de je ne sais où... semblable à une graine de fleur semé par le vent et qui pousse dans des lieux parfois incroyables...
Un grand merci pour ce joli partage.
Je te fais de gros bisous

Thérèse said...

Encore une belle trouvaille et encore des informations passionnantes sur Paris.J'en aime la simplicite et l'originalite des vitraux.
J'etais tombee un jour sur l'eglise Saint Serge de Radonege, il a fallu que je rechercher son nom sur internet, je l'avais oublie. Mais j'avais beaucoup aime cette eglise orthodoxe bien cachee.

Peter Olson said...

>Thérèse: J'ai posté sur Saint Serge de Radonège: http://www.peter-pho2.com/search/label/Saint%20Serge%20de%20Radon%C3%A8ge :-)

claude said...

Une découverte pour moi. Un style plus contemporain, dehors et dedans.
Elle rappelle en moins bien la petite Eglise que je fréquentais quand j'habitais à Savigny sur Orge.

Jeanie said...

It may be very small but it is nonetheless beautiful! Interesting about the St. Michel connection -- and I love your spring photos!

Studio at the Farm said...

I love the Spring greetings, Peter!!!

M said...

Peter, the perspective I. The first photo of the church is wonderful! Thank you for the spring greetings ... Wish I were there to experience April in Paris! again :)

Lisa said...

I hope one day to spend a springtime in Paris, or anywhere in France! Lovely photos, interesting information and I have to say j'adore the photos of streetlamps in the prior post as well! A blogging friend sent me the link to your site. It's clear, having visited Paris numerous times, that you picked a subject (Paris) that you can write about forever!