Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre Church

Paris, France

Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre is a Melkite Greek Catholic parish church in Paris, France, and one of the city's oldest religious buildings. It replaced a Merovingian refuge for pilgrims, or an older church dating back to the 6th century. The earliest mention of such a site was found in texts authored by Gregory, bishop of Tours, who resided there during the rule of Chilperic I, king of Neustria. A synagogue serving the Jewish residents, probably the oldest in the city, was located in its environs.

The new building, inspired by either the Notre Dame Cathedral or the Saint Pierre de Montmartre church, was begun ca. 1165-1170. The building effort was supported by the Clunaic monastic community of Longpont, and their enterprise resulted in the completion of the choir and, most likely, the nave (ca. 1210-1220). According to 16th century chronicler Étienne Pasquier, the site was connected with the University of Paris foundation, serving as a site for its School of Theology and Arts, and, after the resulting split between the faculties, only as the School of Arts.

All early construction seems to have stopped ca. 1250. In 1651, following several centuries of neglect, two of the original bays in the nave were demolished, and a northwestern facade was added; the northern aisle was preserved, and two of its bays serves as a sacristy. After more than a century, during the French Revolution, the building was listed for demolition, and suffered more damage as a result. Before the second half of the 19th century, Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre underwent restoration under the direction of architect Franz Christian Gau.

In 1889, under the Third French Republic, the church was awarded to the Melkite (Arab and Middle Eastern) community in Paris. In preparation for this, significant restoration was again carried out.

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Details

Founded: 1210-1220
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

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