Located in the popular Saint Germain-des-Pres area of Paris (6th arrondissement), the Abbey of Saint Germain-des-Pres is one of the oldest churches in Paris with parts of the church dating back to Roman times.
The Abbey is a mix of different architectural styles due to its long history of renovations but has the familiar cavernous sanctuary and soaring arches as well as beautiful wall frescoes and some amazing trompe l’oeil. You will notice the the “mason work” is really painted outlines to look like stone.
Why you should visit:
- Being one of (if not the) oldest church in Paris, you can view the many histories of Paris in its architecture.
- Rarely busy (as in I have never had to wait in line to enter), this is an easy pop in and see site of Paris. It is also located directly across the street from Les Deux Magots (and a few more steps from Cafe de Flore) so after you have sipped your cafe au lait and finished your croissant, stroll over and see this magnificent church.
- You may be treated to organ practice. On my last visit, I enjoyed some lovely organ music as I explored.
- FREE. Abbey of Saint-Germain-de-Pres is still an active church so entrance is free although donations are accepted.
- Free guided tours are every Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm according to their website. However, Google showed Tuesday’s tour being at 11am…well it is France and everything is subject to change.
- If you miss the guided tour and really want a guide, there is an audio guide available on Google Play and Apple Store. There is a fee for the app download.
- You don’t need a guide (in person or audio) to enjoy this lovely church.
How to get there:
- Address: 3 Place Saint-Germain des Pres 75006 (6th arrondissement)
- Metro stop: Saint Germain des Pres
- Directly across the street from Les Deux Magots
I hope you add the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres to your Paris itinerary. Just like Sainte Chapelle is an easy add on visit if seeing Notre Dame, the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres is an easy add-on if visiting the Saint Germain des Pres area and especially if you are stopping at the famous Les Deux Magots or Cafe de Flore cafes.
Have you visited the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres? What did you think?