The Church of the Madeleine in Paris, Greek or Baroque?

The Madeleine Church is one of the most curious churches in the French capital. Despite being a Christian temple with a baroque-style interior, its exterior is neoclassical and clearly reminiscent of a temple in ancient Greece.

That is why, just by crossing a door, you will think you are transported back in time, you will cross the time barrier.

Very close, in addition, you have the Place Vendome and its adjacent streets, one of the most exclusive areas to do your shopping in Paris.

Madeleine’s story

Paris - Madeleine - ExteriorFormerly, in the same place where we see today the Madeleine church, there was a small church dedicated to Mary Magdalene.

This ancient church was built in the year 1182 and had also become a Jewish synagogue.

Later, in the middle of the 18th century, it was decided that another church should be built on this site.

Due to different events, the construction of this new church lasted 85 years.

One of them was the death of the architect who started the works, who was replaced by another who decided to demolish what had been built for 14 years.

Later, the French Revolution also stopped the works until Napoleon decided to continue them by giving the building a new design, giving it the appearance it has today.

Although Napoleon did not give it any religious use, but wanted it to be a temple in memory of the French Army, in 1842, the building acquired the Catholic use for which it was initially designed.

What to see in the Church of the Madeleine

Paris - Madeleine - InteriorThe curious Church of the Madeleine has two very different parts, which as you can deduce are its exterior and its interior.

On its exterior, in neoclassical style, we must highlight its 52 Corinthian columns that are 20 meters high.

Also noteworthy is the pediment on which a scene from the Last Judgment is represented.

This relief and the rows of columns give the temple a spectacular appearance that seems to transport you to ancient Greece and that changes completely when you enter its interior.

The interior, baroque in style and dimly lit, is also impressive. It consists of a single nave with 3 domes that are not visible from the outside. In the High Altar is the image of Santa María Magdalena, one of the highlights of its interior, as well as the great organ.

Another point of special interest is the interior of the dome where there are some frescoes that review the history of Christianity.

What to see near the Madeleine Church

Paris - Place VendomeNext to the Church of the Madeleine we have the possibility of making the following several very interesting visits.

One of them is the Place Vendome, the most exclusive square in Paris. The best stores are here and their prices are prohibitive.

But in addition to the shops, we have a series of spectacular buildings that you will not be able to stop photographing, including the facade of the Ritz Hotel.

In the center of the square is the Vendome Column, a spectacular 44-meter-high column crowned by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Nearby is also the Chapelle Expiatoire, which was built in 1826 on the same spot as the tombs of King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. This neoclassical building also has commemorative statues of the kings.

You can find more information on the official page of the Madeleine Church.

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