From the author of Hidden Gardens of Paris and The Streets of Paris comes a beautifully illustrated guide to the history of Paris through its renowned and beloved places of worship.
When visiting the City of Light, the spirit of Paris can be felt everywhere. It holds a sacred history that goes beyond words, beyond religion, and its legendary places of worship are truly its crown jewels.
Susan Cahill's Sacred Paris is a guide for seasoned Parisian visitors, novices, and armchair travelers to the historic religious sites of the city, from the well-known landmarks to the sacred spots off the beaten track, from the magnificent towers of Notre-Dame and the sweeping arches of the Grand Mosque to the serenity of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre. This spiritual tour is interwoven with the artistic and cultural history of Paris, from the medieval Crusades through the Resistance of World War II. Stand in the basilica of Saint-Denis, where Joan of Arc prayed with her soldiers in the Hundred Years' War, and gaze at the murals of Saint-Sulpice painted by Eugene Delacroix, or visit the village of Auvers where Vincent van Gogh painted the lovely Gothic church of Notre Dame d’Auvers-sur-Oise.
Organized by the major geographical sections of the city—Ile de la Cite; the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank; Montparnasse; Northern Paris on the Right Bank; the Marais—each chapter is accompanied by Marion Ranoux’s beautiful four-color photographs. Also included are lists of “Nearbys”: gardens, bistros, librairies, museums, and other points of interest to round out your visit.
Cahill (Hidden Gardens of Paris) encourages readers to explore the sacred side of Paris in this handy travel guide with a focus on "traditional settings for prayer and worship." From the well-trodden naves of Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle to lesser-known locations such as the Marais district's Synagogue de Nazareth or Saint-Jean Lutheran on rue de Grenelle, travelers will appreciate Cahill's colorful histories of people and places, recommendations for libraries and caf s, and carefully plotted directions. Cahill's anecdotes reveal the multifaceted history of religious practice in Paris, including the "convulsionnaires" of the 18th century, who threw fits of contortion in the cemetery at Saint M dard, and the 1792 September Massacres, when revolutionaries beheaded dozens of monks. Cahill focuses heavily on Catholic churches, and while she includes Lutheran, Muslim, and Jewish sites, her engagement with those is comparatively superficial, as when she reduces Lutheranism to an aesthetic of "simplicity" and "symbolism." Despite shallow takes on faith traditions outside of Catholicism, this succeeds in cutting its own path as a unique travel guide.