An invitation to discover the Orthodox churches of Paris!

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Since the emergence of the brand new Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in the UNESCO World Heritage Paris cityscape, a new curiosity for Orthodox places of worship in Paris has been aroused.

Indeed, in December 2016, a new place of worship was consecrated by Patriarch Cyril just a stone's throw from the Musée du Quai Branly and the Eiffel Tower. This marvel of contemporary architecture with its golden cupolas and minimalist style has been designed by the architects Wilmotte & Associés, as well as the spaces that surround it which house a cultural center with exhibition halls and an educational center. Topped with five totally smooth bulbs and covered with very pale gold leaves, its highest cross reaching 36 meters, it is harmoniously integrated within the landscape of the Seine riverbanks by the elegance of its materials and its colours, a camaieu of white, greige, gray and gold shades...


Before it was built, the Russian community used to attend the church of the rue Daru. Built thanks to a subscription, it was consecrated in 1861 and dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky, prince of Novgorod and great hero of Russia. Designed on a Greek cross-shaped plan, it is entirely decorated with frescoes and gilded wood inside while the exterior is in Moscow Byzantine style with five small golden bulbs -the number five referring to Christ accompanied by the four evangelists- surmounted by a cross. This church, now classified as a historical monument, was chosen on July 12th 1918 for the marriage of Pablo Picasso and Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova, who belonged to the Diaghilev Russian Ballets. Their witnesses were neither painters nor dancers, but poets: Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire!

Rue George Bizet, near the Pont de l'Alma, you will find another cathedral attached to the Greek rite of Constantinople. Romanesque-Byzantine style, Saint Stephen (also known as Saint Etienne) was inaugurated in 1895: although its architecture is quite sober with its large dome on pendants, the interior is largely decorated with frescoes and a rich marble iconostasis. The funeral of the famous singer Maria Callas was held there in 1977!

There are still many more modest Orthodox churches to discover in Paris, such as that of 91 rue Lecourbe, charming and hidden in a courtyard, or that of 93 rue de Crimée which has a curious decorated wooden porch in the middle of an island of greenery…!