Religious Sights Walking Tour, Paris

Paris is one of the cities that can fairly be considered a religious destination because of the number of churches that one is able to visit here. Reports show that, for instance, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, recorded 13.65 million visits in 2006, and the number is increasing every year. This is a tour that includes some of the most beautiful Christian relics located in the center of Paris - the Latin Quarter.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Religious Sights Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Religious Sights Walking Tour
Guide Location: France » Paris (See other walking tours in Paris)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Author: karen
1
Notre Dame Cathedral

1) Notre Dame Cathedral (must see)

Notre Dame Cathedral is a major Catholic temple and remarkable architectural, historic and religious monument. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris and is a functional Roman Catholic church. It sits on a small island, Île de la Cité, in the middle of the river Seine, and has been in its place for over 800 years. Its foundation stone was laid in 1163, in the presence of Pope Alexander III. The cathedral took 200 years to build and was completed in 1345. Several architects were employed on the project, which is evident in the mixture of styles on the facade. The most significant change in the design occurred in the mid 13th century. Notre Dame was among the first buildings in the world to rely on arched exterior supports.

Many glorious, as well as tragic events, have been associated with the cathedral. In the midst of World War II, after the Cathedral had been restored to its full splendor, there were fears that the German invaders might destroy the newly renovated stained glass. To prevent that, a lion's portion of the glass, called the Rose Window (the biggest known glass window in the world, made in the 13th century), was removed, hidden and reinstalled only after the war was over.

The history of Notre Dame, of course, is incomplete without the famous Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc), a peasant girl whose extreme bravery and spiritual richness led the army of France to victory in many battles against the English during the Hundred Years War. Aged only 19, she was captured by the enemy and executed. 25 years after her death, on July 7, 1456, Joan of Arc was declared a martyr by the Catholic Church. In 1909, Pope Pius X beatified her at Notre Dame Cathedral.

Inside the cathedral is a 17th-century organ which is fully operational. Another distinct historic feature of the site is the famous bell which has recently been redesigned to toll automatically. Visitors to the bell tower must prepare to climb 140 steps in order to hear the incredible sound of the bell and also to enjoy the bird's eye view of the city of Paris.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the few places in Paris that are free!
Beautiful and significant while also being in active use – the iconic design ensures it stands out from all the rest.

Tip:
It costs to climb the towers (book early!) unless you have the Paris Museum Pass, in which case there is no additional charge.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-6:45pm; Sat-Sun: 8am-7:45pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Saint Julien le Pauvre

2) Saint Julien le Pauvre

Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, in full Église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre (French for Church of Saint Julian the Poor), is a Melkite Greek Catholic parish church in Paris, and one of the city's oldest religious buildings. Built in Gothic style during the 13th century, it is situated in the 5th arrondissement, on the Left Bank of the Seine River. Originally a Roman Catholic place of worship, Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre was built in stages from the 12th to the 19th century, and granted to Eastern Catholic Melkite community in 1889. Its original design was modified several times, and the resulting church is significantly smaller in size than originally planned. The church was dedicated to two medieval French saints of the same name: Julian of Le Mans and a figure from the region of Dauphiné. "The poor" is said to originate from Julian of Le Mans, whose dedication to the cause of the poor was considered exemplary.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
St-Séverin Church

3) St-Séverin Church

The Church of Saint-Séverin is a Roman Catholic church situated on a busy tourist street Rue Saint-Severin, inside the Latin Quarter on the left bank of the river Seine. This is one of the oldest temples in Paris. At the end of the 5th century, King of the Franks, Clovis, established a settlement on the island of Parissi. Eventually, it became known as Paris and was made the capital of Clovis's kingdom. Clovis's wife together with Saint Genevieve were ardent Christians and persuaded the king to make Christianity the official religion of his domain. At that time, a hermit priest, called Séverin, also lived on the left bank. After his death, an oratory was built over his tomb. By the 11th century, a small Romanesque church, known as the Church of Saint Séverin, had been erected to replace the original tomb of the saint, which soon turned into a foremost religious site.

The key features of this church are the ancient stained glass and a set of seven modern windows, created by Jean Rene Bazaine, inspired by the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. Also deserve mention is the church's bell, the oldest in Paris, and the odd column, designed in the shape of a trunk of a palm tree. Despite being a historic and religious monument, the St-Severin Church remains an active place of worship.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet

4) Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet

Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet is a Roman Catholic Church in the center of Paris. Originally built in the 13th century, it was largely reconstructed during 1656-1763. In 1612, Adrien Bourdoise founded here a training college for priests. In the 19th century, the adjacent Mutualité site was occupied by a seminary. Many changes have occurred in Saint-Nicolas's interior over the centuries. In the absence of a forward-facing altar, the original plan of the church, including the High Altar, allows it be seen without obstruction. There were also plenty of side altars inside the building, that were used mainly as storage spaces or display rooms.

In 1897, Merklin rebuilt the organ and replaced the old wooden tribune with that of stone. Saint Nicolas's organ originates from the old parochial church of Saints-Innocents, and was built by François Thierry between 1723 and 1725. Notably, in the late 17th century, famous harpsichordist Jean-Nicolas held here a formal position of organist. In 1961, the instrument was electrified by Roethinger and Boisseau. Between 2007 and 2009, the organ was rebuilt again, this time by Michel Gaillard. The Society of St Pius X got hold of the building in 1977 and has used it freely ever since despite the fact that the property had been in municipal custody since 1905. On June 22, 2002, the municipal council of Paris issued a resolution that the Society of St Pius X should be evicted from the premises. Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, however, opposed the decision, considering it an internal affair of the Catholic Church. On a typical Sunday, the church can have up to six masses served continuously, without interruption. It is the only site of the St Pius X Society in Paris and, although not their official French headquarters, is considered to be their national center.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Eglise de la Sorbonne

5) Eglise de la Sorbonne

Eglise de la Sorbonne was constructed from 1635 to 1642 by the famous architect Lemercier. The church has a Baroque facade and an elegant cupola that makes it look really big. The interior of the church is also quite impressive and the marble tomb of cardinal Richelieu lies within its walls.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Saint-Sulpice Church

6) Saint-Sulpice Church

The Saint-Sulpice Church is the second largest Roman Catholic church in Paris. Saint Sulpicius, patron of the church, was a 7th-century bishop of Bourges, renowned for his godliness and confrontation with the dictatorship of the Merovingian kings. The construction started in 1646 and lasted 100 years until full completion. During the French Revolution, the church was badly damaged and converted into a “Temple of Victory.” Later, in the 19th century, it was fully restored and redecorated into a fine piece of architecture. During the day, sunlight pours inside the building through the large arched windows, revealing elegant columns, including two mismatched ones, that line the hall. A couple of enormous shells, resting on the rock-like bases, are present at either side of the front door. These were sculpted by Jean-Baptise Pigalle and given to the French government as a gift. A fountain, displaying sculptures of four bishops of the Louis XIV era, stands in the church square.

A distinguished role, attached to the Saint-Sulpice in the recent best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code, has rendered the church much popular with tourists. A golden line, implanted in grey granite, which runs across the floor and bears graduated markings like a ruler, is a gnomon - a pagan astronomical device used as a sundial. The line was laid in 1727 by a clock maker and astronomer in a bid to fix the date of Easter. Tourists, scientists, historians and pagans from around the world flock to the place just to see this now famous device. The St. Sulpice also houses one of the finest pipe organs in the world, with 6,500 pipes, 102 stops, and five layered keyboards. The previous organ of 1781 was replaced by the new one in 1862. Even those who are not interested in organ music are amazed by the sheer size of this massive instrument - over 20 meters in height. Whereas people with an ear for organ music must certainly attend this church on Sunday and hear one of its free weekly organ concerts.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Saint Germain des Prés

7) Saint Germain des Prés (must see)

Saint Germain des Prés is the oldest church in Paris. It was established by Childebert on the site of a small marketplace, near the abbey of St. Germain, and was meant to house the True Cross relic, brought from Spain in 542. In the Middle Ages, the church grew very influential as both a religious and cultural institution. Although eventually, the neighboring abbey was totally destroyed by the Normans, the church itself has survived.

In 1163, it was expanded and re-consecrated by Pope Alexander III. The new building is an excellent example of Romanesque architecture. The square tower, dating back to the early 11th century, is topped by a 19th-century landmark spire. Inside the church are a Romanesque nave and a Gothic choir with gilded capitals. The marble columns are the only survivors of the 6th-century abbey church, which was once a pantheon for Merovingian kings. The pillars are carved with copies of the capitals, the originals of which are kept in the Musée National du Moyen-Age. During the 1981 restoration works, a number of Romanesque paintings were discovered on the triumphal arch. Recitals, featuring Gregorian singing, are often held here, due to the building's excellent acoustics and medieval ambiance.

Why You Should Visit:
On entering this church you are struck by how colorful the walls and ceiling are. Very beautiful interior. Also, the small park space outside is a nice peaceful place to sit and relax for a while.

Tip:
Be sure and let your eyes travel from the base of the columns all the way to the ceiling. Every inch/centimeter is decorated!

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8am-7:45pm; Sun: 9am-8pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Opera-Elysees Souvenir Shops

Opera-Elysees Souvenir Shops

It would be a pity to leave Paris without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Paris, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 km
The Da Vinci Code Walking Tour

The Da Vinci Code Walking Tour

Owing to the success of the controversial "The Da Vinci Code" book by Dan Brown, Paris has become even an more popular tourist destination. This self-guided tour will take you through the main places described in the novel so that you could see for yourself and decide whether to believe or not.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Montmartre Walking Tour

Montmartre Walking Tour

Montmartre is one of the most famous and visited neighborhoods in Paris. It has some extremely beautiful plazas and marvelous architectural masterpieces. This tour comprises a few of the most popular places to be visited in Montmartre.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Hotel-de-Ville Walking Tour

Hotel-de-Ville Walking Tour

This tour takes you to explore the 4th arrondissement of Paris (aka "arrondissement de l'Hôtel-de-Ville") visiting The City Hall (Hôtel de Ville), Notre Dame Cathedral, Maison de Victor Hugo and other notable sights of the district otherwise renowned for its cute little streets, cafes, and shops. Rather fashionable as such, it is also regarded by the locals as expensive and congested. We invite you to take this walk and see for yourself whether it's true or not.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Top Paris Museums

Top Paris Museums

The following tour comprises a few great museums situated along the Seine. As France has a rich historic past and a vast cultural background, there are a lot of museums exhibiting collections that prove that. You can visit some of them by taking the suggested walking tour presented below.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Bourse-Opera Attractions Walking Tour

Bourse-Opera Attractions Walking Tour

Located on the right bank of the River Seine, the 2nd arrondissement, together with the adjacent 8th and 9th arrondissements, hosts an important business district, centred on the Paris Opéra. The area contains the former Paris Bourse (stock exchange), the Garnier Opera House and the famous Fragonard Perfume Museum.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km

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