Paris, France


Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais (French pronunciation: ​[sɛ̃ ʒɛʁvɛ sɛ̃ pʁɔtɛ]) is a Roman Catholic parish church located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, on Place Saint-Gervais in the Marais district, east of City Hall (Hôtel de Ville). The current church was built between 1494 and 1657, on the site of two earlier churches; the facade, completed last, was the first example of the French baroque style in Paris. The organists of the church included Louis Couperin and his nephew François Couperin, two of the most celebrated composers and musicians of the Baroque period; the organ they used can still be seen today. The church contains remarkable examples of medieval carved choir stalls, stained glass from the 16th century, 17th century sculpture, and modern stained glass by Sylvie Gaudin and Claude Courageux. Saint-Gervais was a parish church until 1975, when it became the headquarters of the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem.

A church dedicated to Saints Gervasius and Protasius, two Christian martyrs from Milan, is recorded as existing on the site in the 7th century, making it one of the first parish churches on the right bank in Paris. It was attended mostly by boatmen and fishermen, because it was close to the river port at the Place de Grève. It was built on a slight hill, the Monceau Saint-Gervais, to be safe from the floods of the Seine. After the completion of the wall of Philippe-Auguste, built between 1190 and 1209, the neighborhood was protected against attack and the population began to grow. The church had come under the sponsorship of several of the important confreries or guilds of Paris, including the wine-merchants. With their financial help, a larger church was built on the site in the early 13th century. .

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