Saturday, March 23, 2013

Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris

Work on the ancient bell tower of Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés was started in 990 AD
One of the oldest churches, Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés,  in Paris is found on the south bank of the river Seine. It goes back to 542, when Paris was ruled by the Merovingian dynasty. It was inaugurated Christmas of 558, and was the home of the relics of Saint Vincent of Saragossa
Busy modern streets of Quartier Latin
The remains of the saint was brought back by Childebert I. By the 6th century the Merovingians had built their royal palace on the Ïle de la Cité, the historic heart of the French capital. The first church was clearly visible from the royal palace.  
The present building is a beautiful Romanesque style basilica dating back to the 11th century. By then the previous church had been ravaged by the Normans on numerous occasions, and made room for the "new" one.

Work on the bell tower was started in 990 and ended in 1014, and it is one of the oldest towers of its kind in France. Its massive bells are held up by the massive structure.   
Today it is located in the busy Quartier Latin, one part of Paris that never sleeps with countless restaurants and bars. Here you find the same narrow streets as in the Marais districts. 
Medieval mysteries of the interior
But when you enter the church, you will find the contrast to the busy streets  outside. It is a dark mysterious atmospherejust found in a building enterring its second millenium. 
The Abbey around the church used to one of the richest in France. Nearly all of it has vanished, only the church remains.
The churchs founder, Childebert is buried in the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés with his successors.

Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is an ancient historic memorial as central to Parisian history as the Notre Dame, and as well worth a visit.

Here are a few more photos of the church and its surroundings 

Tower and exterior. Romanesque arches, maybe remains the the medieval Abbey 
Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés - interior 
Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés - view towards the alter

Vis Paris on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006-2012 i et større kart

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