Paris is one of these wonderful cities filled with amazing remains of history in every corner... and many amazing religious buildings spread all around the city of Paris.
In fact, you will find 24 synagogues, 20 mosques and around 200 churches in the different districts of Paris. Most of them are open to the public and in function as of today.
In this article, we have selected 12 of the most famous and visited churches of Paris to give you an idea of the ones you should prioritise. Thanks to this list, you will know which churches are interesting to visit and what is the history behind them.
1. Sacré-Cœur Basilica
Sacré-Coeur is a Roman Catholic church standing on the top of Montmartre hill. It was dedicated to the "Sacred Heart" of Christ. The Sacré-Cœur Basilica is the second most visited religious building in Paris after Notre Dame Cathedral.
It was different than other iconic churches in Paris with its predominantly Romano-Byzantine style inspired by Hagia Sophia in İstanbul as well as San Marco in Venice. Sacré-Cœur, built a century ago, seems still white due to the material used for the exterior, which is constructed stone from Château-Landon containing high amount of calsite.
There is no entry fee for the basilica. There are tickets for the Dome of Sacré-Coeur and the crypt. The Bell Tower is not open for the visitors. Access for the dome is from out- and left-side of the Basilica entrance.
Useful information :
Sainte Chapelle is a gothic style catholic church located on the island Île de la Cité in the River Seine. King Louis IX commissioned the church to keep his relics including Crown of Thorns of the Christ. The construction was finished in the year 1248. Its splendor is both due to its gothic style and unique stained glass windows and extensive decoration of the interior. It is one of the oldest surviving monument from the Royal Palace in the Île de la Cité along with the Conciergerie.
Useful information :
- Address : 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris
- Get here your Sainte-Chapelle Priority Entrance
3. Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris is among the most well known Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages and the most important landmarks of Paris. The 800 years old cathedral is the most visited monument in the French capital with more than 13 million visitors each year.
The cathedral is located in the eastern part of the Île de la Cité, on the banks of the Seine River. The constuction begun during the reign of King Louis VII in 1163 and was finalized in 1345. The word "Notre Dame" means "Our Lady" in French, referring the Virgin Mary.
Useful information :
- Address : 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
- Get the special Audioguide of Latin Quarter close to Notre-Dame and discover the beautiful neighbourhood's secrets.
4. Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville
The Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville is a catholic perish church that was built between 1854-1859 as one of the first neo-Gothic style churches in Paris. It is located on the Rue de Belleville which was before a village called "Belleville" populated by winegrowers and gardeners. Today, Belleville is a hipster casual neighbourhood of Paris that is getting more and more popular ever year.
The facade is dedicated to John the Baptist, the patron saint of the church. The interior stands out with its stained glass windows made by the master glassmakers Louis-Charles Steinheil and Auguste de Martel.
- Address : 139 rue de Belleville - 75019 Paris
The Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-Mont is a Roman Catholic church located in the Latin Quarter in Paris, next to the Panthéon. The relics of the St. Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris is inherited in Saint-Etienne-du-Mont.
The church also hosts the tombs of Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine. Saint-Etienne-du-Mont has a very comprehensive sets of stained glasses made in the 16th-17th century by the best craftsman of the time which should'nt be missed. Its origins dates back to 6th century as an abbey dedicated to Sainte-Geneviève. Then in 1492 the construction of a new church begun following a donation of a land by the Génovéfain monks and it was completed in 1624.
- Address : Place Sainte-Geneviève, 75005 Paris
- Know more about the Latin Quarter of Paris
If you are planning your trip right now, don't hesitate to also check our list of the most visited 30 museums in Paris and create your own list of places not to miss during your time in the capital of culture, love and fashion.
6. L’Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Saint-Germain-des-Prés abbey is one of the oldest Catholic places of worship in Paris. It is located at the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Bonaparte.
It was built in the family cemetery of the Franco-Merovingian kings. Once there was a complex of buildings, but today only the church remains. It has a long historical timeline first starting from 6th century and rebuilt many times.
The decoration elements of the interior space are from different periods and bears different styles. The nave in Roman style while the choir and ambulatory has Gothic features. The stained glass windows inside are among the oldest in Paris.
- Address : 3 place Saint-Germain-des-Prés75006 Paris
7. L’Église Notre-Dame des Champs
The Notre-Dame-des-Champs church is located at Boulevard du Montparnasse, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Remains of a pagan temple dedicated to the Roman God of commerce, Mercury was found on Rue Pierre Nicole,some distance away from the present church.
In the early days of Christianity, the temple was dedicated to Virgin Mary and took the name of Notre-Dame-des-Vignes. The architect Paul-René-Léon Ginain (1825-1898) began construction of the current church in 1867, mainly in Romanesque style. It was completed in 1876.
There is a large collection of painting made by the artist Joseph Albert decorating the Notre-Dame des Champs.
Useful information :
- Address : 91 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris
- Get your Montparnass Tower Ticket and visit the top floor of the only tower in town !
8. L’Église Saint-Eustache
L’Église Saint-Eustache is located next to the former Central Market, now the center of "Les Halles". The architect Lemercier,who inspired from Notre Dame Cathedral began the construction in 1532 and was finished in 1633 after many interruptions.
The structure was built in Gothic style at the height of the Renaissance. The combined characters of the church with its Renaissance style ornaments, Romanesque style arches and Greek columns gives it a unique character.
After the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris, the Easter Mass was relocated to Saint-Eustache in 2019.
Useful information :
9. L’Église Saint-Augustin
Saint-Augustin is a catholich church which was built in an Eclectic, Romano-Byzantine style between 1860 and 1868. It was one of the first large buildings with metallic structure. Its facade is decorated with friezes of Jesus, his twelve apostles and the four evangelists.
The stained glass windows represent bishops and martyrs of the first centuries. There is a statue of Joan of Arc, made by the sculptor and painter Paul Dubois was placed in front of the church in 1896. Inside there are many other sculptures of Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse and Henri Chapu along with the paintings of William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin, Émile Signol, Alexandre-Dominique Denuelle.
- Address : 8 Avenue César Caire, 75008 Paris
10. Église de la Madeleine
The Madeleine Church is located near the Place de la Concorde and the Avenue Champs-Élysées in Paris, France, is a Catholic church consecrated to Saint Mary Magdalene.
The Madeleine Church is among the best examples of neoclassical architecture in Paris as a peripteral temple shape with Corinthian columns. It has a very important frescoe in the half dome of the apse executed by Ziegler as the only frescoe in the churches of Paris depicting Napoleon together with Christ, Mary Magdalene and the apostles. There are the great figures who have marked Christianity : Constantine, Clovis, Godefroy de Bouillon, Frédéric Barberousse, Joan of Arc, Dante, Raphael, Pius VII and the Emperor in coronation costume.
- Address : Place de la Madeleine, 14, rue de Surènes 75008 Paris
11. The Basilica of Saint-Denis
The Basilica of Saint Denis is a large monastic church built on the grave of the bishop and 3rd century saint St. Denis, according to the Gothic architectural style in the Middle Ages.
Today's church began to be built by Abbé Suger, the first masterpiece of Gothic architecture. It was accepted as a"cathedral" in 1966. The church is the mausoleum of the French kings. Almost every king ruled from the 10th to 18th centuries was buried here along with a number of queens and some of the servants.
It is accepted as a historical monument in France besides being a church since 1862.
- Address : 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 93200 Saint-Denis
12. Basilica Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours
Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours is a Roman Catholic parish church in the 11th arrondissement of the French capital. The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is one of the five minor basilicas of the capital built between the years 1892-1896. The large stained glass windows were made by the artist Marcelle Lecamp. It was rised to the status of "minor basilica" by Pope VI affiliated with the Basilica of Santa Maria Maior in Rome in 1966.
It is very close to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, the largest cemetery in the center of Paris housing the tombs of many celebrity.
L'Atelier des Lumières is an art museum located very close to Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours.
- Address : 55 Boulevard de Ménilmontant, 75011 Paris
Map & Location
You know all the most visited churches of Paris. Which church did you hear about ?