A Peek Inside Saint-Sulpice: Best Organ Music in Paris

saint sulpiceAlthough Saint-Sulpice seems diminutive compared to Notre Dame, it is only slightly smaller. It is actually Paris’ second largest church. Its Roman roots date back to the 13th Century but the bulk of the construction and renovations were done much later in the early 1600’s.  A new sanctuary, ambulatory, transept, portal and chapels were added on in the latter part of the 17th Century and into the 18th.

Often overlooked for the more popular churches like Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur, its claim to fame is that Saint-Sulpice is home to the best organ music in Paris. People flock from all over to see and hear the organ that is one of the greatest in all of Europe.

saint sulpice windowFrançois-Henri Cliquot who was part of a family dynasty of master organ builders constructed the organ. Years later, the famous Aristide Cavaillé-Coll took the already impressive organ and reconstructed it and added major improvements. It is considered the best organ to survive the countless changes that the modern-day era has attempted. Famous organists have flocked to Saint-Sulpice to play this magnificent masterpiece. Today there are two regular organists who play during the Catholic masses. Concerts are given regularly, and of course, if you attend mass you will get to hear one of the world’s best organists play for free. At other times you just might be lucky enough to happen upon one of the organists practicing.

saint sulpice organThe windows of Saint-Sulpice are more sedate than other churches in Paris, but beautiful nonetheless. Even on the darkest of days in Paris, the windows gather the light and provide quite a display of bright stained glass works of art to digest. Worth noting, many works of art by important historical figures such as Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, and Eugène Delacroix can also be found in this church. Just a stones throw from the Luxembourg Gardens, I find Saint-Sulpice a “must see” while visiting Paris.

Saint-Sulpice: rue Bonaparte on the east side of Place Saint-Sulpice

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3 Comments
  • Greg
    Posted at 15:15h, 14 November Reply

    Yes, that lovely organ music. I lived nearby in Paris for some time, and stopped by the church many times though I am not even religious, due to its sheer tranquil beauty. It is a great place to get married!

    • Weekend In Paris
      Posted at 15:47h, 14 November Reply

      Dear Greg,

      Thanks for your comment! I tell people all the time, do not worry if you are not religious at all, just peek inside the churches of Paris for they hold the history of the city in their hallowed halls and they possess some of the best art in the world and in this case, the best church organ of anywhere.

      I appreciate you stopping by on my site and I hope you will visit often and comment.

      Cheers,
      Priscilla

  • 24/7 in France
    Posted at 02:34h, 13 November Reply

    It is indeed a beautiful church and larger than I had imagined!

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