Short description

The Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre church , also called église Saint-Jean l'Évangéliste is a Catholic parish church. It is at the foot of the Butte Montmartre, located at 19, rue des Abbesses, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.

His name St. John the Evangelist (Saint-Jean l'Évangéliste) comes from John, a first century Jew who became a Christian, a disciple of Jesus and also the brother of James the Greater. Christian tradition attributes the writing of the Gospel of John to the apostle John. The apostle John is credited with many miracles, especially that of the poison. John, summoned to drink a cup of poison, is not at all bothered by it, while the two tasters are struck down in a few seconds. They were then resurrected by the saint.

The Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre church was classified as a historical heritage site by order of September 9, 2014.

Localisation
Open hours

Saint-Jean de Montmartre Church
19 rue des Abbesses
75018 Paris

  • Free visit
  • A guided tour of the church is organized on the fourth Sunday of the month at 4 pm.
  • Opening hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-7pm; Sunday, 9:30am-6pm.
Access

Église Saint-Jean de Montmartre
19 rue des Abbesses
75018 Paris

Address

Église Saint-Jean de Montmartre
19 et 21 Rue des Abbesses rue des Abbesses
75018 Paris

Tel: 01 46 06 43 96
Architecture : Art Nouveau

Architecte: Anatole de Baudot

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 53′ 03" N 2° 20′ 16″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.88425 2.33782

 

Full description

The Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre church , also called église Saint-Jean l'Évangéliste is a Catholic parish church. It is at the foot of the Butte Montmartre, located at 19, rue des Abbesses, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.

His name St. John the Evangelist (Saint-Jean l'Évangéliste) comes from John, a first century Jew who became a Christian, a disciple of Jesus and also the brother of James the Greater. Christian tradition attributes the writing of the Gospel of John to the apostle John. The apostle John is credited with many miracles, especially that of the poison. John, summoned to drink a cup of poison, is not at all bothered by it, while the two tasters are struck down in a few seconds. They were then resurrected by the saint.

The Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre church was classified as a historical heritage site by order of September 9, 2014.

Origin of the Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre church

The other church in Montmartre, the church of St. Peter of Montmartre and which is located at the top of the Butte Montmartre, was no longer sufficient to accommodate the faithful due to the increase in the population of Montmartre. The new church was built from 1894 to 1904 by the architect Anatole de Baudot. It is characterized by its reinforced concrete structure and an interior without decoration.

A chaotic and contested beginning of the construction of the Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre church

What is extraordinary is that the construction of the church began without official authorization. It was on the initiative of the parish priest: he raised part of the necessary funds with the approval of his bishop.

General disapproval followed immediately despite the prestige of its architect. Some predicted its imminent collapse. The work begun in 1894 was interrupted by a lawsuit for "non-conformity" with the rules of urbanism. The reasons were its 7 cm thick floors and its pillars of only 50 cm in diameter for a height of 25 meters. The Ministry of Religious Affairs and the administration of the city of Paris stopped the construction, considering that the use of reinforced concrete was not appropriate for a church. A demolition order followed - which was never carried out -, as well as the beginning of a long procedure.

However, the parish priest managed to interest renowned experts in church architecture, who authorized the resumption of the work. It is thus at the initiative of the clergy that this new innovative solution of reinforced concrete is implemented, without support from the administration, the city or the parish community.

The construction work started again in 1902 and was completed in 1904. The long career of this material, whose significance was far from being measured at the beginning of the 20th century, began with the first church built in reinforced concrete.

The contested construction site

The walls of this reinforced cement church are covered with bricks and ceramics (flamed and pastilated sandstone). The construction is influenced by the Art Nouveau style which appeared at that time. This church situated in its time shows its filiation with its contemporaries, the first metro stations and the Grand Palais.

Anatole de Baudot, an architect evolving with his time

The architect Anatole de Baudot (1834-1915) was a disciple of well-known architects Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and Henri Labrouste. He understood the formidable possibilities of concrete as both a load-bearing wall and a partition wall. This church is very significant of the evolution of ideas at the hinge of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Yet this architect was not likely to engage in this adventure. Anatole de Baudot is of course an architect, but he is also the general inspector of historical monuments and, moreover, holds the only chair of French architecture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. However, he uses concrete with a certain mastery while keeping traditional principles.

Despite its originality, the church is built as a basilica with three naves covered with reinforced concrete vaults whose design recalls the ribs of Gothic cathedrals. All the possibilities of concrete are used here to achieve an imitation of a traditional Catholic church interior. The exterior façade corresponds in style to the decorative elements of the church interior. The side walls are decorated with eight large frescoes and traditional stained glass windows. 48 small rectangular stained glass windows representing the litanies of the Holy Virgin illuminate the side naves. The vaults of the transept are decorated with stained glass windows in the art nouveau style, which soften the severe-looking structure due to the use of reinforced concrete.

The main brick façade is decorated with architectural ceramics by Alexandre Bigot.

The interior works of art of Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre church

  • The three large stained glass windows in the nave were made by the master glass artist Jac Galland (died in 1922) after cartoons by Ernest-Pascal Blanchard which are related to the Art Nouveau style.
  • The stained glass window of the chevet was made in 1901 by the Destournel brothers and represents the Crucifixion. Below it are the four evangelists with their usual symbols.
  • The bronze and glazed earth sculptures of Pierre Roche (1855-1922) also decorate the high altar in the 1900 style. He also created the tympanum of the church representing Saint John the Evangelist surrounded by two angels.
  • In 2007, the sculptor and goldsmith Goudji, created and realized a baptismal basin in Pontijou stone, wrought iron, silver and jasper.
  • The organ of Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre was built by Cavaillé-Coll in 1852 for the Sacré-Coeur de la Ferrandière school in Lyon. After moving, enlarging and refurbishing, it now has two 56-note manuals and a 30-note pedalboard. It had become practically unplayable in 2009. The City of Paris financed the restoration of the instrument which began in 2009 and lasted fourteen months.

A guided tour of the church is organized on the fourth Sunday of the month at 4pm.

The critics of the Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre church are still present

The R.P. Régamey, co-director of the magazine L'Art sacré, wrote in 1952 that he did not appreciate at all the Church of Saint Jean de Montmartre: "And the first church in concrete, Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre, aggressive and veiled forms, according to the aesthetics of iron of that time: one of these churches that Claudel qualifies so well of haggard!

However, this avant-garde church by the implementation of reinforced concrete and not by the aesthetic choices, opened the way to the work of the Perret brothers and Le Corbusier. The church of Saint-Jean in Montmartre and the church of Saint-Louis in Vincennes are two rare examples of innovative churches designed before the First World War.

And the hopes are still present around this church

"When one looks at the history of Martyrs' Mountain (Montmartre's hill), one perceives this land as a place of blessings. Lives given, multiple struggles, highwaymen alongside the most obvious holiness. In short, a microcosm in the image of the world, a reduced and synthetic model. "
"Between the Sacré Coeur and Pigalle, a church of brick and reinforced cement has sprouted, defying the steep incline of the ground and the subterranean cavities. Like an image of the Church, built on the rubble of the hopes of the first disciples, the tombs of existences and the uncertainties of the future. "
Father Olivier Ségui of the PARISH SAINT JEAN DE MONTMARTRE

 

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Closed
Open hours today: 9:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Monday

    9:00 am - 6:30 pm

  • Tuesday

    9:00 am - 6:30 pm

  • Wednesday

    9:00 am - 6:30 pm

  • Thursday

    9:00 am - 6:30 pm

  • Friday

    9:00 am - 6:30 pm

  • Saturday

    9:00 am - 6:30 pm

  • Sunday

    9:00 am - 6:30 pm

  • July 24, 2024 8:11 am local time

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