Monday, October 09, 2006
Église de la Madeleine
Looking north from the Place de la Concorde, past this fountain, you can see the church dedicated to Mary Magdalene, at the end of rue Royale. Louis XVI was beheaded with the guillotine just near here in the square.
The Neo-Classical Église de la Madeleine is affectionately called "La Madeleine" by Parisians. There are 52 Corinthian columns around the edifice.
This statue inside is of Mary Magdalene's ascension. It was built in 1837 by Charles Marochetti.
The painted frieze shows Jesus and the disciples.
I posted about Mary Magdalene in May, just as the movie "The DaVinci Code" was being released. I mentioned this church briefly then.
Two separate plans for this church were scrapped, the first in 1776 and the second in 1790.Then Napoléon thought Paris needed a temple to his army, and commissioned it to be completed as that honorary building. However, that too was scrapped for the Arc de Triomphe instead. In 1814 Louis XVIII decided it needed to be a church, but it was almost redesigned into Paris' first train station in 1837. Since 1842 it's been a church. (Information found at http://www.paris.org/Monuments/Madeleine/)
In 1969 the Catholic Church admitted quietly that there was no biblical basis for Mary Magdalene being a prostitute.
Every day except Monday there is a flower market around the church.
Edouard Leon Cortes(1882 - 1969) Flower Market at the Madeleine, Oil on canvas