Paris boasts over one hundred churches and sanctuaries. Among them are a fair number of Gothic style edifices with the most famous being Notre-Dame Cathedral. This is our list of our favourite Gothic churches in Paris, all of them standing within the limit of the oldest districts of Paris originally encircled by the medieval wall of Philip Augustus.
Towering the Île de la Cité and the banks of River Seine, Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered as a leading example of French Gothic architecture for its monumental dimensions, its fine stained-glass windows, its audacious flying buttresses and rich sculptures and statues. The cathedral played and still plays an integral part of the history of Paris and France, from its construction in the 12th century up to now.
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With its stunning stained-glass, the Sainte-Chapelle is gem of Gothic architecture in the heart of Paris. Part of the complex of the Palais de Justice in the 1st arrondissement, the medieval chapel was built between 1242 and 1248. Its magnificent stained-glass windows are among the oldest in Paris.
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Situated in the 5th arrondissement, Saint-Séverin was built from the 13th to the 15th centuries mainly in Flamboyant Gothic style. The sanctuary is one of the oldest churches on the Left Bank and is famous for its pillar in the shape of a palm tree. The interior features some beautiful stained-glass windows while many gargoyles ornate the exterior.
Sainte Clotilde Basilica
The Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in the 7th arrondissement is the only church in our list to have been built in the 19th century that is long after the Middle-Ages era. Its soaring symmetrical twin spires are visible from many points all over Paris. The church was consecrated on the 30th November 1857 by Cardinal Morlot and dedicated to St. Clotilde – wife of Clovis – and St. Valerie, a martyr maid from Limoges.
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Near the Centre Pompidou stands the Gothic church of Saint-Merry in the 4th arrondissement. The church was built between 1515 and 1612 in Flamboyant Gothic style.
Situated in the 4th arrondissement, Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais was built in Flamboyant Gothic from 1494. Work ended in the 17th century with the addition of Classicism features such as the façade.
Next to the Panthéon stands Saint-Étienne-du-Mont in the 5th arrondissement. Construction of the church started in 1494 on the Hill of Sainte-Geneviève. The dominant styles are Flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance. It is the only church in Paris to have kept intact its rood screen.
Situated in the 1st arrondissement opposite the east wing of the Louvre, Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois was built between the 12th and the 15th centuries. It served as the parish church of the kings of France who resided across the street in the Louvre Palace. The church is associated with the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in the night of the 23-24 August 1572 when 5,000 to 30,000 protestants were assassinated.
In the heart of the neighbourhood of Les Halles (1st arrondissement), Saint-Eustache was built from 1532 to 1633. Its structure is in Gothic style but its western façade is of Renaissance style. The church is incomplete as one of the two towers of the façade was never built.
Situated in the 3rd arrondissement, Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs was built in the 12th century and restored in the 15th and 17th centuries. The church is mainly in Flamboyant Gothic style.