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Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

Vancouver...
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Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

Am just curious as to why some Catholic churches (such as the St. Chapelle and the St. Denis charge a FEE just to get in, while some are free? I was always of the opinion that churches should not be charging fees for visitors to enter.

I spent the last 2 hours researching Catholic churches to visit for my next trip to Paris and noted that some do charge entrance fee, and some don't.

Thank you if you can enlighten me on this please.

Oceanside...
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1. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

I like the church St. Roche, when I was there last they had some very nice paintings and descriptions of them, this is off St. Honore on St. Roche. To me it is a very pretty church. I don't like St. Sulpice, it is dark, and dreary to me. I like Sacre le Coeur, and Notre Dame, none of these charge admission.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

St. Chapelle is now basically a museum; it is not a church that holds regular services. You can go to mass at St. Denis without cost and visit the sanctuary for free, but that is not the most interesting part of this church (although as the first Gothic church, it is pretty interesting). What you have to pay to see is the area where the tombs are and it is well worth the small fee.

Most active churches in France don't charge for entry. It is common in Italy however -- and basically it is about tourists providing some support for maintenance of these very numerous very expensive to maintain objects of art.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

Further to Janet's statement of churches in Italy charging for admission, something I was at first shocked at, but after some query, was told that one enters a side door for prayers and to attend services/mass free of charge.

My favourite church in Paris in Notre Dame de la Consolation on Rue Jean Gounod in the 8th, a gem in architectural style.

Vancouver...
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4. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

Oh please write more. I want to visit as many new Catholic churches upon my next visit. On my list to visit are:

La Madeieline, St. Eustache, St. Denis, St. Sulpice, St. Julien le Pauvre (across from the Notre Dame), Notre Dame de la Consolation (thanks to you), and St. Roche (thanks to you). I just love churches, I live for them when I travel.

I will stay in Paris for 10 days on my next trip and try to visit all these churches! THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE for their input.

PS - I am not opposed to giving money for restoration and help to the churches. AND THANK YOU for the information about St. Chapelle now being a museum of sorts. It's beautiful inside.

Paris, France
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5. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

Nemor - if you like music, many of the churches you plan to visit hold regular concerts. There is usually an admission fee, and you can purchase tickets on site or buy them ahead online and print out a voucher. www.billetreduc.com is a trusted website, listing concerts, prices etc.

If you like organ music, St Eustache has a regular concert, as do a few others. It's a good idea to check out the individual websites for the places you intend to visit, for up-dates and full info.

There is a wonderful little Armenian church tucked away on rue Charlot, in the 3rd arrondissement, near rue du Perche - lovely little concerts here.

Vancouver...
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6. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

Thank you, yes, I am into music, but not for my church visits (but we'll see).. I mostly just want to visit in solitude, admire the church and spend some time inside to meditate. But thank you for your very kind thoughts. So much appreciated.

[Someday I have "plot out" my itinerary as some churches are in the same districts. I'm not very good with maps but I will try to do my best.]

Edited: 03 June 2013, 07:30
Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

There's St. Germaine L Auxerrois the starting point of St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre which is across the street from the Louvre as well as the Church of St. Germaine des Pres. Just walk around Paris and you will happen upon many Churches of great interest.

If you are an opera lover or know the story of the Dialogues of the Carmelites, the September Massacre during the French Revolution, #70 Rue de Vaugirard is the site of this horrific scene in the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites. If you get the chance, don't miss a concert in Ste. Chapelle.

Bedfordshire...
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8. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

It does seem a bit odd paying to go into a church, but usually there are separate entrances for tourists and worshippers. In London, all the state museums are free, but it costs about 20€ (!!!) to visit St Paul's Catherdral or Westminster Abbey.

As commented, it is not unusual for some churches in Italy to charge, usually between 3-5€ (although this often includes cloisters and/or a museum) and it should be noted that some churches (and I speak for Florence here) are full of amazing art.

Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

The thing is St Chapelle is really NOT a church anymore in the traditional sense, it has been decommissioned, meaning as said, its more of a concert hall or museum of what used to be a church.

Regular churches do not charge fees for those attending services . Normally many churches are closed when they are not having services , otherwise they need staff to be there right, lights are on, etc, so it does make sense that some churches charge fees or ask for donations..

St Denis is free to enter ,but if you wish to enter the crypts there is a fee, and its well worth paying.

Neenah, Wisconsin
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10. Re: Visiting Paris Catholic Churches/Shrines

Nemor,

If you want peace and solitude, you must visit the Rue du Bac chapel at 140 rue du Bac. It only hold a few hundred people, but any time you go there ......... you can hear a pin drop.

Do a Google search for their web site to learn about The Blessed Virgin's appearances to Cathrine Laboure at this location.

While in Paris, we go there several times every week.