La Madeleine, Paris

View of La Madeleine down rue Royale

A great way to experience European churches and palaces is to attend classical concerts. Listening to masterful compositions in ornate, historical surroundings is both transporting and relaxing. For me, it’s a bit of time travel, even if the time periods don’t match up.

Recently, we heard a concert at La Madeleine. L’Église de la Madeleine sits off Place de la Concorde and is a Neo-Classical structure that was modeled after a Greek temple, Maison Carrée, that sits in Nîmes, France.

Concert (I didn’t want to be disruptive and lift the camera up)

Construction began in the late-18th century but was disrupted by the architect’s death, the Revolution of 1789 and disputes over the intended purpose. Napoleon decided it should be a monument, Temple de la Gloire de la Grande Armée, or Temple to the Glory of the Great Army, and so the structure was finally completed.

From the steps of La Madeleine

After Napoleon’s fall, Louis XVIII ordered the temple be changed to a Roman Catholic church.

Madeleine on a rainy winter night

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