The Church of Saint-Roch is a late Baroque church built between 1653 and 1740. In 1521, the tradesman Jean Dinocheau had a chapel built on the outskirts of Paris, which he dedicated to Saint Susanna. In 1577, his nephew Etienne Dinocheau had it extended into a larger church. In 1629, it became the parish church and thereafter underwent further work. The first stone of the church of Saint-Roch was laid by Louis XIV in 1653, accompanied by his mother Anne of Austria. Originally designed by Jacques Lemercier, the building's construction was halted in 1660 and was resumed in 1701 under the direction of architect Jacques Hardouin-Mansart, brother of the better-known Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Work was finally completed in 1754.
At the time of the French Revolution, the church of Saint-Roch was often at the centre of events and was the scene of many shootings which have left their mark on the façade. 13 Vendémiaire was one such occasion, this was pivotal in the rise of Napoleon. It was not only the outside of the church that was damaged. During the Revolution it was ransacked, and many works of art were stolen or destroyed. Amongst the missing paintings was one of Dinocheau, a generous donor, who built the first church on this spot.
The church is organized as a series of chapels. One of them is dedicated to Saint Susanna in memory of the church which used to stand in its place. Accordingly, there is a mural painting above the altar, showing Saint Susanna fleeing her attackers, and looking up to the heavens for the help of God. The church is also notable as a result of the marriage there of the Marquis de Sade on May 17, 1763.
Notable tombs in the church included those of Denis Diderot, the Baron d'Holbach, Henri de Lorraine-Harcourt, Pierre Corneille, André le Nôtre, Marie Anne de Bourbon (daughter of Louis XIV) and Marie-Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin.References:
Claude Monet lived for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926, in Giverny. With a passion for gardening as well as for colours, he conceived both his flower garden and water garden as true works of art. Walking through his house and gardens, visitors can still feel the atmosphere which reigned at the home of the Master of Impressionnism and marvel at the floral compositions and nymphéas, his greatest sources of inspiration.
In 1890 Monet had enough money to buy the house and land outright and set out to create the magnificent gardens he wanted to paint. Some of his most famous paintings were of his garden in Giverny, famous for its rectangular Clos normand, with archways of climbing plants entwined around colored shrubs, and the water garden, formed by a tributary to the Epte, with the Japanese bridge, the pond with the water lilies, the wisterias and the azaleas.
Today the Monet's Garden is open to the public.