Église Saint-Eustache

The Église Saint-Eustache is one of the most important churches in Paris. Calling the 1st arrondissement home, the famous church is renowned for its humongous organ which is the largest in the whole of France. For the complexity that it exudes today, the church of Saint Eustache has had a long history. There was another church before this one was constructed, a smaller one dedicated to Sainte-Agnes. This was back in 1223 and it was built out of tax collected nearby, from the sale of fish. The current church took 105 years to be built with the construction work commencing in 1532 and ending in 1632. The church is dedicated to Saint Eustache. He was a general in the Roman army, who, after converting to Christianity, was sentenced to a fiery death together with his family. Though the church flourished after its construction, it underwent the same fate as others did during the Revolution. It was vandalized and looted, but restoration took place soon after. Many notable events have taken place at the church, for instance, the funeral of Mozart’s mother. It is in use today as a house of prayer and a major tourist attraction in the Parisian 1st arrondissement.

The Église Saint-Eustache is built in a gothic style but not entirely. Some details are of a classical origin, and Renaissance influence can be seen as well especially with the arches and the décor. The structure is colossal, more so in terms of height, considering thet it is greater than 33m to the vault. It reminds of the Notre Dame Cathedral, with the nave and choir aisle. Like Sainte Chapelle, Sainte Eustache is beautifully finished with stained glass windows but whose size is not as colossal as the aforementioned church. To the south of the church lies a somewhat large écoute sculpture crafted by Henri de Miller. It’s attention grabbing, though there is no infinite detail in its construction.

The churg Saint-Eustache represents a time when gothic architectural designs were beginning to fade, and the Renaissance style was starting to win architectural minds. It depicts the best of both worlds, with the classical additions creating that delicate balance between the two. The organ at Saint Eustache is the other reason the church is so highly regarded. With over 8000 pipes, some of which were used in the previous organ, it is a treasure to behold, considering it surpasses even that at the Notre Dame Cathedral. Because of this, recitals and concerts are frequently held at the church, where the organ is played very much for the amazement of the crowds that gather.

Each of the oldest churches in Paris has something unique to offer. For Sainte Eustache, it is the architectural approach together with its large organ. Parisians enjoy the regular Sunday mass at the Cathedral; for most other days, the church is open to tourists, even with organized tours available. The écoute sculpture is the first thing to take notice of, since it resides at the heart of the square in which is located the church.