Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Paris

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.

While wandering the streets of Paris, I came across the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, locally known as Basilique Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours. I had no idea what to expect when I saw the church because I knew nothing about its history or architecture. Regardless, it was fascinating to walk inside and discover something beautiful for myself because each church is unique.



Even though the church's interior is not particularly ornate, it is well worth a visit because 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, which are adorned with phylactery and have a litany of the Virgin engraved on them, are especially impressive.

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Paris Map


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 has 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. Pope Paul VI elevated it to the status of a minor basilica in 1966.


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.


Pictures of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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 of the Basilica

The gallery organ of the Basilica

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

How to Get There


The Basilica stands right 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


Entry is free. If you intend to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Paris, please check the church's website for hours of operation.


Pere Lachaise Cemetery Walking Tour in Paris


If you want to see Oscar Wilde's, Gertrude Stein's, Edith Piaf's, and Jim Morrison's graves in nearby Pere Lachaise Cemetery after/before visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, take the Pere Lachaise Cemetery Walking Tour in Paris. Enjoy!


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