Construction at the site of the Église de la Madeleine began in 1763. It was initially supposed to be a baroque church, but construction was halted after two false starts. Napoleon chose the site for a neoclassical monument commemorating his army, but he was deposed before it could be completed. During the bourbon Restoration, Louis XVIII decided to turn it into a church, but he did not live to see its completion. In the 1830s, authorities considered turning the building into a train station or market, but nothing ever came of it. The church was finally consecrated in 1842, eighty years after construction began.
The Église de la Madeleine is a magnificent neoclassical church. It was inspired by the Maison Carrée in Nimes, one of the world’s best preserved Roman temples. The most prominent feature is the 52 Corinthian columns, each 20m tall. The magnificent interior is decorated with statues and paintings. The Église de la Madeleine is one of the best churches in Paris and just a short walk from the Place de Concorde. The church is a popular choice for weddings, so make sure it’s not booked if you decide to visit.
Address: Place de la Madeleine, VIII, Paris, France
Telephone: +33 01 44 51 63 00
Metro: Madeleine (8, 12, 14)
Hours: Monday-Saturday 07:30-19:00
Admission: No admission.