St. Augustine's Church in Paris

Église Saint-Augustin de Paris

St. Augustine's Church, a stunning 19th-century ecclesiastical structure in Paris, was the city's first metal-framed church. The impressively high Byzantine-style dome of this Roman Catholic church makes it an attractive landmark easily recognizable on the Parisian skyline. For 62 years, the distinguished French composer Eugène Gigout served as organist at St. Augustine's, where he composed, among other works, his best-known concert piece, the Toccata in B minor.

The Roman Catholic churches, cathedrals, and monasteries are an essential part of the architecture and history of the French capital. In Paris, Madrid, and other European cities I have visited, any historic religious buildings, whether in Romanesque, Gothic, or Baroque style, fascinate me and are among my all-time favorite landmarks.



If you enjoy seeing the incredible evolution of architecture among the historic buildings of Paris, you must visit this Roman Catholic church while in the French capital.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, please read the policy page.


Paris Map


The Church's Brief History


Paris's population increased significantly during the Second Empire by the 18-year Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870. Then, the French capital became a large construction site for dwellings, sidewalks, sewers, stations, churches, and public buildings. 

St. Augustine's Church was one of the structures built between 1860 and 1871 by French architect Victor Baltar, who also designed Les Halles, a former central fresh food market in Paris, and several church restorations throughout his career.


Architecture


The length of St. Augustine's Church is 100 meters / 328 feet, the height of its dome is 80 meters / 262 feet, and the diameter is 25 meters / 82 feet. The metal frame lining the stone walls is a first for a church building of this size. Baltard did not hide the metal: the metallic framework is visible at the vault and column levels.

The entire structure stands supported by golden cast-iron pillars adorned with polychrome angels. The circular choir features a massive cast-iron ciborium and leads to three chapels, each dominated by an open gallery. The stained glass design in the nave represents geometric figures at the first level and saints and martyrs at the third level. That is why the principal longitudinal area of the church appears so dark.

Charles Spackman Barker, a British inventor and organ builder, made the church's organ at the end of the nave in a gallery. It was one of the first organs to use electricity when it opened in 1868.

The red steel spire with its golden cross towers above the slate blue steel dome. Three arched passages resting on two large lateral pillars decorated with the statues of Moses (bottom left), St. Thomas Aquinas (top left), Elijah (bottom right), and St. Augustin (top right) decorate the impressive main façade of the church. Under the huge rose window, composed of 85 pieces, we can also see statues of Jesus and the twelve apostles by French sculptor François Jouffroy. The architecture at Saint Augustine's is a mix of styles. The church's exterior is unique, with Romanesque and Byzantine influences visible in its eclectic style.


St. Augustine's Church in Pictures

Église Saint-Augustin de Paris
The church as seen from Pl. Saint Augustin

Église Saint-Augustin de Paris
The church's impressive interior

Église Saint-Augustin de Paris
The choir's gilded cast iron ciborium, with the main altar in the background

Église Saint-Augustin de Paris
The Virgin's Chapel (left) and the sculpture of St. Monica (right)

Église Saint-Augustin de Paris
Interior of the Virgin's Chapel

Église Saint-Augustin de Paris
The church's interior details

Saint-Augustin Paris
One of the church's side chapels

Église Saint-Augustin de Paris
Stained glasses

Église Saint-Augustin de Paris
The gallery organ

How to Get There


The Church of St. Augustine stands between Boulevard Malesherbes and Avenue César Caire, the district formerly known as Little Poland, in the 8th arrondissement.

Address: 8 Avenue César Caire, 75008 Paris, France


By Public Transportation

Bus (lines 20, 28, 32, 43, 80): Saint-Augustin

Metro (line 9): Saint-Augustin

Train (lines J, L, TER): Gare Saint-Lazare


Opening Hours & Ticket Prices


The church is open to the public, and admission is free. Please check the church's website for operating hours.


You Might Also Like

0 Comments