Saint Germain des Pres Church, located in the village of the same name developed 15 centuries ago, built “in the shadow of its influential abbey” per travelfranceonline.com that provides a fascinating history of the abbey and church that I’ll let you read at your leisure. Fascinating Romanesque structure, it being one of the oldest in France, the abbey being founded by King Childebert I in 558AD. The Sunday Traveler will leave the history readings to you for now, and proceed with a photo tour of the indoor and outdoor public garden, discovered on my last day in Paris. The garden contains a few vestiges of the Gothic Chapelle de la Vierge that will be shown in the photos below. So let me take you inside first; the interior of the church is being restored, with plastic drop cloths hanging to close off portions where work is going on (and you’ll note some of the hanging curtains that protect from the dust are art in themselves; and the interior has a low light level that only adds to the feel of the antiquity of the church. The friend who I accompanied on this trip to Paris is an artist who was in awe of the colors used; please visit her blog as well at The Creative Epiphany (www.thecreativeepiphany.com). So let’s go inside now
I’ve lightened up some photos to show detail, and I returned to the church multiple times at different times of day, in hopes of better light coming in through stained glass windows, but we had few days of sun while we were there.
Here, in these multiple circular chapels around the back of the church, one can see the antiquity; stone walls, carvings, and sculptures dating back to when?
The French, never content to just let something be ugly…The hanging curtain to cover some plastic drop cloths
The beauty of the textures found, especially in peeling paint on columns, was enough to make me believe that not everything should be restored
This photo was really lightened up to show detail, but in its darkness, it was gorgeous. I’ve just read on the Travel France website that there will be a Mozart concert here on December 29th, I get chills to think of how this will sound in this structure…and an urge to jump back on a plane and go back for this.
And now let’s step outside to the little garden on one side of the church
The possibility of the age of these bricks and carvings took my breath away, to think of the hands that put this all in place
Paris has so many churches, I explored only three during this trip that was all too short; there is something about the cathedrals and churches of the places that I visit that help me feel and see the history of the city and its people.
Merry Christmas to all of you, wishing you all the happiest of holidays. The Sunday Traveler will be off preparing for our family Christmas eve next Sunday. Hope to see you back here to join me for a visit to the Louvre week after next.