Friday, August 5, 2016

La Madeleine, Paris

To my shame, I wasn't aware of this architectural and cultural gem earlier - it was not in our itinerary; we got into it only by a chance, or I should say only by mistake :) . We were navigating to Notre-dam, but our Tom-Tom went crazy for some reasons and made us to round about the La Madeleine three times. So we stopped our car nearby just to fix the GPS, then decided to hop-on to the beautiful La Madeleine Church.

La Madeleine is one of the beautiful Catholic churches of Paris, but it’s is unique and totally different from most of what you will see in Paris, both inside and out. . Though it’s one of the authentic churches, from its exterior it doesn’t look like a church at all!!. It gives a feel of typical traditional Greek Temple has just been transported from Athens to Paris !

In 1806, Napoleon began commissioning this great monument to himself and his Grand Army, following his great victory over the Austrians and Russians at Austerlitz. Pierre-Alexandre Barthélémy Vignon (1763-1828) designed this monument to the Army, in neo-classical style. Looking like the Parthenon in Athens, this massive structure was completed after Napoleon's downfall. King Louis XVIII decreed that it would be a church. And so it was consecrated in 1842.

The exterior features beautiful carvings and massive columns with fantastic flower arrangements and the interior is serene and lovely. My favorite part of this one is the lovely and unusual altar figure of the Magdalene ascending into heaven with the help of several angels, and the half dome above it with the illuminating paintings of many saints.
Here's a nice panorama of the interior:

If you go to Paris, don`t miss this wonder, even just to see the building!!    #madeleine #napoleon #magdalene

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