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Paris
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Private Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church and Abbey Guided Tour

A private guided tour of St-Germain which focuses on the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church and ancient abbey. A thematic tour about sacred arts, architecture, and way of living from middle age to the 19th century. A tour made by a passionate fully licensed guide lecturer.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés abbatial church newly restored choir and nave to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church and Ancient Abbey Guided Tour in Paris, France.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés abbatial church: the newly restored choir and nave

Saint-Germain-des-Prés church and abbey private tour Essentials  

  1. Guided tour in English
  2. Really private +/- 2-hour tour
  3. A group of maximum 6 people exclusively yours (your party only)
  4. Flexible schedule
  5. Postgraduate  (MPhil) local licensed guide lecturer

Why a Saint-Germain-des-Prés church & abbey Guided Tour?

Because if this Paris district is nowadays world-famous for its 20th-century golden age, Saint-Germain-des-Prés was historically before all a powerful independent abbey at the gates of Paris.

The church of St Germain is the most spectacular remains of the ancient abbey and an impressive witness of Romanesque and early Gothic architecture. The abbey-church also really worth a visit for its magnificente 19th century frescos (just restored). But the church is not the only remains of the ancient abbaye, less spectacular or visible one can be found all around, they are key to understand the district.

Saint-Germain-des-prés church abbey Private Tour Organisation

The tour is mainly organized around 4 themes

  • The abbey
  • The abbey-church
  • Other buildings and vestiges of the abbey
  • The faubourg and the Paris 12th century city wall

Middle age architecture being a 5th transvers theme of the tour.

a very speciAl PARIS PRIvATE tour to encounter
the most ancient roots of Saint-Germain-des-Prés!

Tour Content

The Saint-Germain-des-Prés Ancient Abbey

  • The abbey history since its foundation in the 6th-century
  • How where the monks living
  • Who were the abbots, the priors
  • The rule of Saint Benedict: Ora, Labora, lectio divina
  • The Saint-Maure Congregation
  • The importance and the influence of the abbey in arts, literature, history or archeology

The Abbey Church

Architecture of the Church
  • Late antiquity (Merovingian period)
  • Romanesque
  • Early Gothic
  • 17th-century vaults
  • 19th-century reconstruction
  • 20th-century Neo-Roman
Ornementation of the church
  • Late antiquity (Merovingian colum of the triforium)
  • Romanesque chapiters
  • 17th-century paintings
  • The amazing 19th-century Flandrin Fresco work

Other Buildings and Vestiges of the Abbaye

The 13th-Century Magnificent Lady Chapel
  • How it was destroy during French Revolution period
  • Remaining stain-glasses
  • Remaining  Virgen  Mary Statue, its history
  • Other architecture remains of the chapel around the streets
Abbots Palace

A brick and stone witness of the last period of the French Renaissance.

Biggest Witnesses of the Abbaye

Learn to read Saint-Germain-des-Prés district map and discover how much streets position and organization are directly linked with the ancient abbey;

The Faubourg St Germain & the Paris 12th-Century City Wall

  • The St Germain Faubourg
  • The St Germain Market
  • Remains and postion of the 12th century city wall of Paris

Transvers theme: Middle Age Architecture

Romanesque versus Gothic
  • Understand differences between both style / period
  • Understand the function and evolution of architectural structures as ambulatory, triforium, gallery, transept etc.
Some Middle Age Architecture Secrets
  • How were the church oriented?  Why?
  • When a statue may be buried?
  • Why it was important to be burried close to a church?
  • How to know where were buried the Merovingian kings in the church?

Tour Special Focus

The amazing 19th-Century Flandrin Fresco Work

After a 5 year restauration program (2015-2020) frescos are now magnificent!

Flandrin was the preferred pupille of Ingres the most famous 19th century neo-classical french painter.

In charge of the ornamentation aspect of the restauration of the church flandrin developed and employed an hot wax, Renaissance inspired painting technique.

The themes of the frescos are exceptionally rich, as Flandrin was helped by a Jesuit expert in history of arts, called father Cahier, for their selection: below are some of the frescos themes:

  • The Apostles
  • The four Evangelists and the Tetramorph
  • The seven Christian Virtues
  • The historic figures of the church foundation etc.
Choir of the Saint-Germain church to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church and Ancient Abbey Guided Tour in Paris, France

Paris – Saint-Germain-des-Prés church with its newly renovated paintings (frescos), the small columns of the triforium (closed gallery of the choir) are from the first Merovingian church (late antiquity).

Other Saint-Germain-des-Prés Tours

Things to know before Booking

Your Private Licensed Guide in Paris

  • State-graduate licensed guide lecturer
  • Bachelor with honors in Heritage Developpement & Preservation by Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers
  • Postgraduate from Paris-Dauphine University
  • Member of Paris Historique Association

Private Tour Highlights

  • Really private 2-hour tour for you and your party only.
  • Extensive approach of the different aspect of the church and the ancient abbey: history, urbanism, architecture, arts, etc.
  • The opportunity to ask your dedicated guide any related questions.

Meeting Point

In front of the entry of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church  

Access: Metro Line 4: “Saint-Germain-des-Prés” 

 

Private Tour Attention Points

  • Tour is on foot.
  • Prices do not include transportation, food, drinks or any other extra services.
  • Neighborhood tours: we don’t enter in monuments except in Saint-Germain Church.
  • Church entrance: exceptionnaly unplanned closing to visit may occur (ceremony, closing etc.) – if this occurs we will to do our best to solve the situation postponing the tour if possible, or adapting its content.
  • Tour duration & content are purely indicative, they may vary due to contingencies.

Book your Saint-Germain-des-Prés church and abbey Tour

Choose below your tour: You will then be  asked : -> choose the number of people, date & hours of visit -> after our validation-> pay on line.

Choose below your tour

You will then be  asked : 

  • choose number of people, date & hour of visit
  • after our validation
  • pay on line
Photo of a Stain glass of former Lady Chapel (distroyed during the French Revolution) representing Saint-Germain the founder of the abbey to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church and Abbey Guided Tour, in Paris, France.

Stain glass of former Lady Chapel (distroyed during the French Revolution) representing Saint-Germain the founder of the abbey – MET collection New York – Two Lady Chapel Stain glasses have been reinstalled in the choir of the abbey church.

Photo of the Romanesque bell tower of Saint-Germain-des Près Church to illustrate the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church and Abbey Guided Tour, in Paris, France.

The bell tower of Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church which was build around year 1000, the sculpture in the foreground is from Picasso

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