While this week I attended online a very interesting class about the history of Mary Magdalene, I remembered that last year at this time I had just returned from Paris and was preparing to go to the south of France to discover the Sainte-Baume Cave where Mary Magdalene spent the last years of her life.
So, the idea of telling you about the famous Parisian church was obvious!
Located in the 8th, not far from Place Vendôme, located at one end of Rue Royale, with Place de la Concorde on the other side, as a tourist, impossible to miss it!
Commissioned by Napoleon I, it was however not finished until 1842 (85 years later) because of the political troubles at this period.
From Greek neoclassical style, this Catholic church surrounded by 52 Corinthian columns, measures 354ft (108m) long and 141ft (43m) wide, and its height is 98ft (30m).
I didn't take pictures of the exterior because the facade has been under renovation for many years, and it’s hidden by large panels.
However, I got revenge inside and all the following photos are mine.
The work of the craftsmen here is impressive, gilding, wood and marble, you don't know where to look, everything is so sumptuous.
Obviously, our attention is on the Choir created by Charles Marochetti and the Rapture of Saint Mary Magdalene. An exceptional work that required 12 years of work on the part of the sculptor.
So much detail, you could spend hours looking at it all.
Above all, a lot of tenderness and poetry in this piece, so real, that one would expect the characters to wake up at any moment.
Behind the Choir, the Lameire mosaic, highlighting the Resurrection of Christ and his first disciples, including Mary Magdalene of course.
And above the painted fresco by Ziegler telling the story of Christianity. We see Mary Magdalene supported by 3 angels just like in the Choir, but also many outstanding characters: Saint Louis, Clovis, Charlemagne, Joan of Arc, Louis XIII with Richelieu, Napoleon but also Raphaël, Michel-Ange and Dante to represent the Renaissance.
And even more sculptures, all as incredible as each other...
Including the carved bronze front door!
I end with an element that you’ve certainly noticed in the previous photos, the great organ!
Restored several times, it was originally built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1846.
n the Corinthian style to harmonise with the rest of the architecture, the woodwork by unknown author is a work of art in itself!
Many personalities have had their funerals organised in this magnificent church:
Chopin, Offenbach, Mistinguett, Coco Chanel, Joséphine Baker, Tino Rossi, Dalida, Marlène Dietrich, Henri Salvador, Johnny Hallyday and this year the Bogdanoff brothers to name but a few...
No article next week, I’m working intensely on the publication of my book in French: Mon Mariage Solo à Santorin!