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Quick Facts on St-Etienne-Du-Mont

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St-Etienne-du-Mont St-Etienne-du-Mont, Paris
1 place Ste-Geneviève Paris, Île-de-France
5th Arrondissement  neighborhood
Paris  city
France  country
Europe  continent
Main date(s)
48.846552° N, 2.348017° E
Opening hours
Mon: 12-7:30pm
Tue-Fri: 8:45am-7:30pm
Sat: 8:45am-12 and 2-7:45pm
Sun: 8:45am-12:15pm and 2:30-7:45pm

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Description of St-Etienne-Du-Mont

The Church of St-Etienne-du-Mont stands on the site of an abbey founded by Clovis, King of the Franks (466-511) and later dedicated to St. Geneviève, the patroness of Paris.

St. Geneviève was so popular in the Middle Ages that the abbey had to be enlarged to accommodate all the pilgrims. Construction on the present abbey church began in 1492 and encountered numerous delays before it was finally finished in 1626.

The attractive church, named for St. Stephen but still devoted to St. Geneviève, is located right next to the Panthéon. The interior of St-Etienne-du-Mont is Gothic, an unusual style for a mostly 16th-century church.

Along with the patroness of Paris, such illustrious men as Pascal and Racine were entombed here. St. Geneviève's tomb was destroyed during the Revolution, but the stone on which her coffin rested was discovered later, and her relics were gathered for a place of honor at St-Etienne.

The church possesses a remarkable early-16th-century rood screen. Dramatically crossing the nave like a bridge with spiral staircases on either side, it's unique in Paris and beloved by many (and deplored by a few).

Also notable is the wood pulpit, supported by Samson with a jawbone in hand and slain lion at his feet. The fourth chapel on the right from the entrance contains impressive 16th-century stained glass.

Across the street from the church is the only surviving structure from the ancient abbey: the Tour de Clovis (Tower of Clovis), which is now part of the Lycée Henri IV.

Holly Hayes
April 9, 2013

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