A La Madeleine

A La Madeleine


La Madeleine

L'église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine is also known as La Madeleine. It is a Catholic church occupying a commanding position in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.



The site of this edifice, centred at the end of rue Royale, a line-of-sight between Gabriel's twin hôtels in the Place de la Concorde, required a suitably monumental end from the time that square was established in 1755, as Place Louis XV. The settlement around the site was called Ville l'Évêque. The site in the suburban faubourg had been annexed to the city of Paris in 1722. In 1806 Napoleon made his decision to erect a memorial, a Temple de la Gloire de la Grande Armée ("Temple to the Glory of the Great Army"); following an elaborate competition with numerous entries and a jury that decided on a design by the architect Claude Étienne de Beaumont (1757–1811), the Emperor trumped all, instead commissioning Pierre-Alexandre Vignon (1763–1828) to build his design on an antique temple (Compare the Maison Carrée, in Nîmes) The then-existing foundations were razed, preserving the standing columns, and work begun anew. With completion of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in 1808, the original commemorative role for the temple was reduced.

The Madeleine is a parish church of the Archdiocese of Paris; masses and other religious services are celebrated daily, and funerals and weddings are still celebrated here. In the basement of the Church (entrance on the Flower Market side) is the Foyer de la Madeleine. Typical of various foyers run by religious and civic groups throughout France, the Madeleine is the home of a restaurant in which, for a yearly subscription fee, one can dine under the vaulted ceilings on a three-course French meal served by volunteers for a nominal price. After dining one can take coffee in a lounge at the far end of the foyer for one of the cheapest espressos in Paris. The walls of the Foyer are often decorated by local artists. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)



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