Travel

La Basilique Sainte-Clotilde – Gothic masterpiece

Modern Paris is not only the world richest city on museums, here besides other sights; there are many ancient churches with the unique history and architectural directions. We have decided to devote our today’s material to one of such churches; it is called The Basilica of Saint Clotilde (La Basilique Sainte-Clotilde).

In 1827 the Parisian city council has made the decision on building this temple. By the author of the project architect Jean-Nicolas Huyot has been chosen, however with the beginning of works it wasn’t successful initially. Hardly had they proceeded till 1830 in which they have stopped. After three years new prefect has renewed building and appointed a new architect who was responsible for erection of the future church F. C. Gau of Cologn, Germany. Thanks to tastes of the Parisian prefect of that time it has been decided to erect a new temple in Gothic architectural style that has made a construction unique in its own way among the Parisian churches. However, this time a lot of time has passed on preliminary preparation, and the work has begun only in 1846.  Gau preferred to use stone from the Burgundian stone quarries of Châtillon-sur-Seine as the basic building material.

The German architect initially planned to erect very high spikes in a new cathedral, however the Parisian city authorities considered that bearing designs of a temple won’t sustain prospective loading and have opposed it. Thus, La Basilique Sainte-Clotilde as a result has turned out not absolutely such as it was conceived by the author in the project.

Probably, such misunderstanding and mistrust from city council has compelled F.C. Gau to resign from his position and has undermined the health of the old man. In some months the German master has died, having left descendants the architectural inheritance in an incomplete state.

As works should have been finished, the city council has appointed Gau’s young assistant Théodore Ballu to finish the work of his teacher. And this young, yet not having independent experience, architect did his job excellently.

Solemn opening of La Basilique Sainte-Clotilde has taken place in November 1857. There were such important visitors, as Cardinal Morlot, apostolic titular archbishop of the Sacred Throne monsignor Sacconi and the well-known prefect of Paris Baron Haussmann.

In 1896  for an anniversary of a christening of Hlodvig the head of the Roman Catholic church of that time Pope Lion XIII granted the church distinctions and privileges.

Today La Basilique Sainte-Clotilde concedes in popularity to Notre Dame de Paris, but here it is always possible to meet travelers who visit Paris to come to this church as in the French capital there are not many Gothic temples.