Sainte-Clotilde, Paris

The Basilica of Saint Clotilde (Basilique Ste-Clotilde) is a basilica church in Paris, located on the Rue Las Cases, in the 7th arrondissement. It is best known for its imposing twin spires.

Sainte-Clotilde, Paris
The west front of the church
48.858333°N 2.319167°E / 48.858333; 2.319167
Country France
DenominationRoman Catholic
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationMonument historique
StyleFrench Gothic
Groundbreaking1846 (1846)
Completed1857 (1857)
Number of towers2
Tower height69 metres (226 ft)
Number of spires1


Construction of the church was first mooted by the Paris City Council on 16 February 1827. It was designed by architect F. C. Gau of Cologne in a neo-Gothic style. Work began in 1846, but Gau died in 1853, and the job was continued by Théodore Ballu who completed the church in 1857. It was opened on 30 November 1857 by Cardinal Morlot. The church was declared a minor basilica by Pope Leo XIII in 1896.[1]


This neo-gothic basilica is marked by its two towers 69 meters high.

The interior is clear and there are stained glass windows by Thibaut (a 19th-century glassmaker), paintings by Jules Eugène Lenepveu, sculptures by James Pradier and Francisque Joseph Duret. A series of sculptures by Jean-Baptiste Claude Eugène Guillaume representing the conversion of Valerie of Limoges, her condemnation to death, decapitation and the appearance of Saint Martial.

The building dominates the Samuel-Rousseau square, where one can see chestnut trees.

The basilica was copied by the architect Léon Vautrin for the construction of the facade of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Guangzhou between 1863 and 1888.

The Rectors and Vicars of Sainte-Clotilde

Abbot Arthur Mugnier, nicknamed the "confessor of the duchesses," and who left a diary, was one of the vicars.

Abbé Henri Chaumont, vicar of the parish from 1869 to 1874, in 1872 with Caroline Carré de Malberg founded the Society of the Daughters of Saint Francis de Sales, whose mother-house moved to Lorry-lès-Metz.

Abbé Albert Colombel was first vicar in 1914.

Abbé Bernard Bouveresse, a member of the Resistance, was parish priest and rector of Sainte-Clotilde from the post-war period to his death.

In 1993, the rector of Sainte-Clotilde, the abbot Alain Maillard de La Morandais was appointed chaplain of the parliamentarians.

In 1992, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris, created the Pastoral Service for Political Studies. In 1995, he entrusted the direction to Father Antoine de Vial, who received the Pontifical Prelature in 2001.

From 2005 to 2012, Father Matthieu Rougé held both positions.

In September 2012, Father Laurent Stalla-Bourdillon, former vicar of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, was appointed rector of the Sainte-Clotilde church and director of SPEP.


St Clotilde is famous for the Aristide Cavaillé-Coll organ (1859, enlarged 1933 and electrified 1962) played by César Franck and the succession of famous composers who have been Organiste titulaire:[2]

Please note: Renowned composer Theodore Dubois succeeded Cesar Franck in 1871 holding the position of organist till 1877 (source: my family, he was my mother's great uncle, I am Javier Dubois Proietto)

See also


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