Paroisse Saint-Eugene – Sainte-Cecile
Despite its double banger name, this neo-gothic Catholic church with its modest exterior, tucked away in the 9th arrondissement is generally referred to by its original name; the Church of Saint-Eugene and it would have to be one of the prettiest and most colourful that I have encountered in Paris.
As if on cue, the daintiest bells began to chime marking my arrival to visit this heritage listed church. It is worth timing your visit to hear them too!
TAKING ONLY 20 MONTHS to build from when the first stone was blessed and laid on June of 1854. Napoleon III’s wife, Empress Eugénie attended the inauguration two days after Christmas on 27th December 1855.
At the time that Saint Eugene Church was built, it was on the outskirts of Paris and with a burgeoning need to quickly provide the local parishioners with a church, a radical and unique approach was adopted and that was to build the entire structure from metal. It would be the first of its kind in France.
Despite an outcry from the traditionalists, the church was built quickly and inexpensively because of this method, leaving only the walls to be built of stone.
You won’t find hoards of tourists lining up to take photos and disturb the serenity here.
Instead what you will discover inside this peaceful church is brightly coloured metal columns and two storeys of sumptuous stained glass windows and the very friendly priest, who if you are lucky will give you a short guided tour, encouraging you to lightly tap on the columns to prove that they are in fact metal.
If you are a fan of the novelist Jules Verne you might be interested to know that two years after the church was inaugurated he married his wife Honorine de Viane here in 1895.
What is in a name?
The church had a rocky start and by 1859 found itself in financial difficulty, whereby the city of Paris purchased it.
Due to its proximity to the nearby Conservatory of Music the pope granted a second term, that being Saint Cecilia patron saint of musicians and hence the double banger name of The Parish of Saint-Eugene and Sainte-Cécile.
What ever you decide to call Paroisse Saint-Euguene – Sainte-Cécile, it will more than likely be that very pretty and colourful church off the beaten path in Paris with the lovely mosaic floor tiles.
If you are interested in attending Sunday Mass, you are in for a special treat, see below for more details.
If you have found this information interesting or useful, please leave a comment or follow me on facebook for daily tips, photos and anecdotes, your feedback encourages me to keep this site up to date. Merci!
Paris Adèle’s Information Necessaire:
Grands Boulevards or Cadet
11am in Latin
5:30 pm Choir Gregorian Chants
6:30 pm Traditional Latin Mass and Gregorian Chants Organ (St. Pius V, Latin)
(see website above for more detailed information)
- Passage du CaireA unique façade, a magnificent glass ceiling, 360 metres in length, Passage du Caire is the oldest and longest Passage in Paris
- Passage VerdeauExplore antiques, rare books and vintage postcards beneath the elegant, neoclassical, glass ceiling, then continue over the road to Passage Jouffroy.
- Passage des PanoramasBuilt in 1799 and inspired by the Oriental Souks, Passage des Panoramas is one of the oldest passageways in the world.
- Passage JouffroySift through old books at the famous bookstore; Librairie Paul Vulin as you walk upon geometric black, white and grey tiles and discover the quaint Hotel Chopin.
Paris Adèle’s Secrets:
- Belle Époque BrothelsLavish brothels dotted around Paris during the Belle Epoque were easily identifiable, some relics exist today, if you know what to look for.
- Square de MontsourisA hidden jewel, begging to be discovered. Eclectic maisons wrapped in greenery, unseen by most tourists to Paris.
- Secret Garden Hôpital Hôtel-DieuA secret garden in an unusual location, right in the centre of Paris that thousands of tourists pass by each day without knowing it exists.
- La GalcanteVintage periodicals and books fill this small quirky, off the beaten path shop in a secluded courtyard where you may find the perfect Parisian souvenir.
- Lavirotte Building and Square RappExquisite Art Nouveau building with one of the most beautiful doors in Paris & a tiny square that offers a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower.
- Passage de l’AncreWho would know a delightful, tranquil little piece of paradise could be hidden away behind an unassuming crooked doorway in the heart of Paris.
- Rue CrémieuxA tiny paved street, that oozes charm, lined with pretty colourful houses that will take your breath away, still one of Paris' best kept secrets.
- Musée des Arts ForainsTransport yourself back in time. Ride spectacular antique carousels, play ancient fair-ground games and admire colourful memorabilia.
- Villa Olivier-MétraPretty cottages with colourful shutters line this serene leafy path with quaint personal touches added by residents who have a playful sense of humour.
- Bibliothèque Sainte-GenevièveA remarkable and historic reading room with its spectacular ceiling, books lining the vast long walls and rows of green reading lamps.
- St. Sergius Orthodox Theological InstituteHidden away on a leafy hill is the oldest Russian Orthodox Theological Institute in Western Europe.
- Restaurant Foyer de la MadeleineLurking deep in the cellars of L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine is one of Paris' best kept secrets, Restaurant Foyer de la Madeleine.
- An Angel in ParisSoaring high above, with it's delicate wings nestled under a fourth floor balcony and yet remarkably this rare Paris secret often goes unnoticed.
- Bibliothèque RichelieuMillions of books line the walls of this historic library under monumental ceilings and finally, it is open to the public.
- The Secret PassageThis lush and adorably sweet top secret passageway is a pure delight. Let me show you where to find it and how to gain entry. But sssh ... it's our secret.
- Passage BoudinCreeping vines, colourful flower boxes and an unusual semi-circular building that would be more at home in the Mediterranean is just some things you will find.
- Cité FloraleA secret micro village hidden away, in a small pocket, off the beaten path in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Discover why it is called the Floral City.
- La Butte aux CaillesA secret hideway with cobbled streets, a sweet village square, interesting street art and friendly, affordable cafés, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement.
- Rue de MouzaïaOff the beaten path, Rue de Mouzaia will make you feel blessed that you discovered this secret hideaway and it’s surrounds in the 19th arrondissement.
- Rue des ThermopyleApart from locals taking a short-cut, or Parisians on a quiet stroll, what you will find here is a wisteria filled, rustic cobbled pathway.
- Square Saint-Gilles Grand VeneurHidden away behind the Hôtel du Grand Veneur in the Marais is a little known secret square with a surprising artistic connection.
- Salvador Dali SundialMany people pass this hidden gem by Salvador Dali tucked away on the Left Bank of Paris unaware that they only need to look up.