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“A small park and church joined in legend”

Eglise St. Julien le Pauvre
Ranked #357 of 1,133 things to do in Paris
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Owner description: This small Greek Orthodox church, which was completed in the early 13th century, is named for a bishop who gave away all of his money.
Fort Myers Beach
Level 6 Contributor
53 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“A small park and church joined in legend”
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Practically in the shadow of Notre Dame is a delightful little park, Square Rene Viviani, named in honor of a French politician. In the middle of the square is a tall, triangular-shaped bronze fountain in a sunken circular garden. It was created by Georges Jeanclos in 1995 and represents the legend of Saint Julien Le Pauvre, Hospice-keeper. Saint Julien built a hospice by the river, where he selflessly cared for the sick and less fortunate. The surfaces of the 3 panels are covered in stylized droplets, which probably refer to the river location of the hospice. In the center of each panel is a stag’s head-- a talking stag plays an important role in the legend of St. Julien --and water is supposed to stream out of its mouth, but that was not happening on the day I was there. On the edges and at the top of the panels, many small figures can be seen, sculpted to depict Julien supporting and comforting the sick and needy.

In the southwest corner of Square Rene Viviani is one of the oldest trees in Paris. It was supposedly planted in 1602, and right now its trunk is fortified with concrete. It is known as the “Lucky Tree of Paris,“ which will bring good luck to those who gently touch the tree’s bark.

Beyond this tree is the small Church of Saint Julien Le Pauvre, which borders Square Rene Viviani to the south. It is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest church in Paris. It was built in the 12th century on the ruins of a 6th century church. According to the legend, St. Julien The Poor mistakenly killed his parents. To atone for this sin, Julien built a hospice near a river where he and his wife cared for travelers. One of these travelers happened to be Jesus disguised as a leper, and forgiveness for Julien's sin was granted. Fittingly, St. Julien is a patron saint of travelers and ferrymen. I was greatly surprised when I was allowed to take flash photos inside the church, which is a rare occurrence in Paris. The size of the church allows you to relate more closely to its religious nature, to feel more solemnity, and because of its age, to hearken back to a long ago period in the church’s history.

Notre Dame gets the lion’s share of attention in this neighborhood, but this charming park with its fountain, its very, very old tree and small but history-laden church is well worth a visit.

Visited October 2011
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6 Thank BeckyBooBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
402 reviews
111 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
“Chopin and Listz at their best”
Reviewed August 30, 2012 via mobile

We saw fliers for an evening concert in this beautiful ancient church and just turned up and paid at the door. The recital was first class,the best interpretation of Chopin I have heard, with wonderful tone and sensitivity.Herbert is a true Maestro. An unforgettable experience.

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4 Thank Picnicker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Lovely garden”
Reviewed February 5, 2012

We stayed in an apartment opposite the old church & garden. Each afternoon we enjoyed our hot choclate & crepe or macaroons & hot choclate in the garden.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank SuperK1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“One of the oldest churches in Paris”
Reviewed November 17, 2011

Beautiful old church (1170 AD) and gardens with one of the best views of Notre Dame

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank dhcmemphis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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