Basilique Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours: One of Paris's Five Minor Basilicas

Basilique Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours de Paris

Although the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is not the most charming church in Paris, the harmony of Neo-Gothic lines, reminiscent of the 13th century, adorns the building very beautifully. Hidden from the streets by the surrounding structures, the church is identifiable by its bell tower, which rises to over 60 meters (200 feet) high.


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While wandering the streets of Paris, I came across the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, known locally as Basilique Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours. Because I didn't know anything about the history or architecture of the church, I had no idea what to expect. I found it interesting to go inside and see its unique beauty.


Even though the church's interior is not particularly ornate, it's still worthy of a visit. It contains the Stations of the Cross made of 19th-century paintings and a magnificent marble recumbent statue of the founder of the Redemptorist congregation, Alphonse de Liguori. The pillar capitals, adorned with phylactery and a litany of the Virgin engraved on them, are especially impressive.


Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Photos

Paris street
The tower of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (left) seen from Boulevard de Ménilmontant

Basilique Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours
The exterior of the Basilica

High altar

The gallery organ

St. Teresa of Ávila
Statue of St. Teresa of Ávila

St. Anthony of Padua
Statue of St. Anthony of Padua

St. Padre Pio
Chapel of St. Padre Pio

St. Teresa of the Child Jesus
Statue of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus

The Church's Brief History


The eastern Parisian district, where the Basilica stands, saw an increase in population, primarily workers, in the second half of the 19th century. A chapel for Saint Hippolyte was built in 1872 to meet worship needs. A replica of the 14th-century icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help adorned the chapel two years later. Then, the Redemptorists supported the building's function. Brother Gerard was a congregation architect who designed a new grand church in the Neo-Gothic style to replace the chapel between 1892 and 1896. Redemptorist monks left the church in 1960. In 1966, Pope Paul VI elevated it to a minor basilica.


Architecture


Designed in the form of a Latin cross with a triangular apse and an ambulatory, the church consists of a single nave, a transept, and 14 side chapels. Villebois sedimentary rock and millstone make up the walls, measuring nearly one meter (3.3 feet) thick. The triforium runs along the walls above the side chapels, highlighting the decorative stitching of stones and elegant columns. A rib vault covers the nave. There is a high wooden cross in the chancel with three arches. Two angels under a ceiling are added to the choir on the right and left sides.


How to Get There


The Basilica stands next to the famous Père-Lachaise Cemetery in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.

Address: 55 Bd de Ménilmontant, 75011 Paris, France


By Public Transportation:

Bus (line 71): Roquette - Père Lachaise

Metro (lines 2, 3): Père Lachaise


Opening Hours & Ticket Prices


Free admission. If you plan on visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help while in Paris, please check the church's website for operating hours.


Where to Stay in Paris


Booking.com offers a wide range of lodging options, various discounts, and exceptional customer service. For a list of places to stay in Paris, click here.


Booking.com


Pere Lachaise Cemetery Walking Tour in Paris


Take the Pere Lachaise Cemetery Walking Tour in Paris after or before visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to see Oscar Wilde's, Gertrude Stein's, Edith Piaf's, and Jim Morrison's graves.


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Have you ever visited this Neo-Gothic basilica? Do you agree it looks stunning? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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