The Protestant churches in Paris are in general closed, except for services … and sometimes a concert. So, I went for a concert… and finally got to see the interior of the “Temple Protestant de l’Oratoire du Louvre”.
This church with origins from the early 17th century was first built for the French branch of the “Oratory of Saint Philip Neri” which appeared as an alternative by the Catholic Church, trying to counterbalance the Protestant Reformation. Just across the street from the Louvre, the “Oratoire” became a royal chapel and this is where the funeral services for King Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu and others took place. However, the royalty left for Versailles… and after difficulties with acquisitions of neighbouring buildings etc. it took until the middle of the 18th century before the church reached its present size.
After having served as a warehouse after the Revolution, the church was in 1811 given by Napoleon to the Protestants … and today the minimum interior decoration leaves no doubt that we are in a Protestant church.
Since 1889 you can at the rue de Rivoli end of the church find a monument of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, a Huguenot leader of the 16th century who was killed in 1572 during the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre.
Here we can see the church in 1654 and today … and how the Louvre and the surrounding streets have changed.
Forgetting about all religious matters, I enjoyed a concert with mostly Chopin and Liszt music, played by an excellent “Haydn Quartett” and by the fabulous now 84 year old Swedish-Japanese pianist Ingrid Fuzjko Hemming (who also is an excellent painter).
Here are some examples of Ingrid’s art: