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Reviewed 1 December 2017

La Madeleine was built as a piece of latterday Napoleonic bombast by Napoleon to the glory of his troops and the French Army in general. This was before the Battle of Waterloo! The Madeleine involved in the name of the building is Mary Magdalene and La Madeleine is indeed a church despite Napoleon's aetheism and anti-clericalism. But to have it both ways, which is what Napoleon was fond of doing, the church is based on a pagan Roman temple further south in France at Nimes known as the Maison Carre (or Square House i.e. squarish like an ancient temple).

Nonetheless, Mass is still celebrated at the Madeleine and tourists are not admitted during services. At other times, concerts of classical music are held here - orchestral as well as choral - and the quality of the performances varies greatly. I heard a terrible performance of the Mozart Requiem at the Madeleine which put me off the music for a while. During the day at La Madeleine, it's also possible to get the cheapest sandwiches and refreshments in Paris, served by church volunteers.

Next to the Madeleine is the famous Flower Stall which is really a flower market in itself, including a number of brightly coloured flower stalls and forms a welcome contrast to the grim neo-classical interior of the Madeleine: but the bouquets are expensive since this is one of the most expensive of the arrondisements in Paris.

Opposite the flower stalls on the same square as the Madeleine is a superb department store called Fauchon which specialises in the most wonderful kitchen and foody specialities including jelly moulds and preserve jars which definitely cheer you up after Napoleon's vast and gloomy Monument to his Army.

Date of experience: April 2017
1  Thank stephencamburn
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 17 November 2017

The Eglise de la Madeleine is situated between Place de la Concorde and the Palais Garnier opera house, in Haussmannian Paris. Its construction started in 1764 and finished in 1842. Its appearance is atypical of that of a religious building, in the form of a Greek temple without any crosses or bell-towers. Napoleon wanted it to be a pantheon in honor of his armies. Before entering through the two monumental bronze doors, you can admire the Corinthian columns which surround the building. Inside, there are sculpture, paintings and the famous neo-Byzantine mosaic created by Charles-Joseph Lameire. The magnificant church organ was designed by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Throughout the year, both day and night, the church programmes quality classical music concerts.
Designed around the church which gave it its name, Place de la Madeleine is one of the top places in Paris for shopping. Historical restaurants and stylish shops are gathered here, competing to show off the most beautiful window. But the thing that comes to mind first when you think of this square are 'those short, plump little cakes' that Marcel Proust made famous, years after living at n° 9 with his parents. In fact, the square now seems devoted to food. Famous specialized food brands such as Fauchon and Hédiard have shops here.
Do not pass by!

Date of experience: October 2017
1  Thank Adybeig
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 6 November 2017

This is a pretty church in a city filled with remarkable churches. It's not really worth going out if your way to see.

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank jess290718
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 October 2017

You can't miss La Madeleine when you are in the area because it rises up like a giant Roman temple before your eyes. It's quite amazing and looks like something out of a movie about Roman/Greek gods. Of course it's not a movie set, it's a church and right now it's under refurbishment so you can't go inside, but the outside is still visible as you can see from my picture.

I'd recommend going to take a look, you'll be wowed by its size.

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank BarbieMegaTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 13 October 2017

Beautiful building set in a great area of Paris. It is worth spending a few moments here. It is being refurbished at the moment but it stills enchants.

Date of experience: September 2017
Thank HapyGuy7
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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