Saint-Germain-des-Prés is the oldest church in Paris, dating back to the 6th- century. Today it is a historical and spiritual respite from the lively area of the same name in which it is situated.
Looming over the chic quartier of Saint-Germain-des-Près, this ancient church casts a sobering shadow over the chic bistros and designer boutiques. In the heart of the bustling, and rather swish, 6th arrondissement, this once-prominent Benedictine abbey was built by Merovingian King Childebert in the 6th-century. Having undergone destruction and invasion by the Vikings, hardly any of the initial construction remains. Renovation and construction over the centuries have given a variety of architectural styles to the church’s interior, which incorporates Romanesque, Gothic and some Baroque elements. The church’s exterior largely hails from its 19th-century restoration.
The church regularly hosts concerts and recitals of classical and religious music, usually on Thursday or Friday evenings. On the last Sunday of the month, a free organ recital is also held in the afternoon.
An audio-guide in French is available to download and guides in French and English can be bought at the church.