Saint-Eustache Church

I made a post about the Saint-Eustache Church already in my previous blog (see here), now a bit more than ten years ago.  I thought it was now time to make a new post. The church is spectacular and has a lot of history to tell, and especially... I discovered some details which I neglected in my previous post.

Let’s first have a general look on the church. Here, we can see the church already in 1734, then about 200 years old, surrounded by buildings. I turned “Google Earth” in the same direction – west-east, to compare with today.

We can see that the western facade has been remade… or I would rather say, has never been finished. One tower is still missing.

So, we can also see that the church today, still, is squeezed in between other buildings - some buildings may even be the same as in 1734.

There are still shops in what must be considered as the church building. You often saw this a century or more ago.

But of course, one side of the church is now completely visible. This is the way we today mostly know it, from where the “Halles” used to stand (see previous posts) – and this is where you today must consider that the "main entrance" is situated. … and the bell rings from this little tower.

One thing which I didn’t realize before was the enormous sun dial, now newly cleaned and renovated… and especially, a bit further down, something which obviously is a “meridian dial”.  A bit difficult (for me) to understand, but I read that the lines are etched on quarter hours, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and obviously this is supposed to be a rather precise tool. I took my photos rather late in the afternoon… and the shadows didn’t give me any hour…

Some newly renovated decorations on the facade.

Something, which I had not noticed at all before was the deer - or stag - head in the top angle of the southern facade (see top picture). So I had to learn about the legend about Saint-Eustache, Saint Eustace in English. He was a 2nd century Roman general, named Placidus, who, when hunting around Rome, had a vision of a crucifix lodged between the stag’s antlers… and he was immediately converted … and he changed his name. You can read more about him and what then – possibly, according to the legend – happened to him and his family, ending their lives as martyrs, here.

The story was illustrated by many artists, including Dürer, Bellini, Pisanello… 

A few photos from the magnificent interior…

… with the always ongoing (needed) renovations.

We must remember that Richelieu, Molière, Madame de Pompadour... were baptized here, that Louis XIV made his first communion, that Lully, Sully got married, that Mozart organized the funeral services of his mother, that Colbert, Rameau and many others are buried in the church, that Berlioz and Liszt gave concerts – the organ is considered to be one of the world’s best.

Here are some examples of works of art - one painting which used to be attributed to Rubens (not anymore), one sculpture by Pigalle and, perhaps more surprisingly, a triptych by Keith Haring.

A last little thing... you can now donate by using your credit card. 

1 comment:

Maria Russell said...


¡Gracias mil por este maravilloso reportaje!
Everybody loves this church.