St-Etienne-du-Mont was built between 1492 and 1626 as the chapel of an abbey dedicated to the patroness of Paris, St. Geneviève. A chapel contains a reliquary, though her bones were burned during the revolution.
The site itself is much older, dating back to the 6th century , when Clovis (466-511) founded the abbey. Remains of the ancient abbey, situated south of the church, comprise the Tour de Clovis (Tower of Clovis, lower part 11th century), the cloister (15th century) and the reflectory (1220), which are now part of the Lycée Henri IV.
The church displays a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic styles. The vaults of the apse were built in 1491, the chancel in 1537, the gallery in 1545 and the vaults of the nave and the transept were finished in 1580. The portal was built in 1610 and the bell tower in 1624. In particular the rood screen (jubé, probably by Pierre Beaucorps in 1530) crossing the nave like a bridge with spiral staircases on either side is an unique feature of the church, being the only rood screen which survived in Paris. The wood pulpit (1651) is supported by Samson with a jawbone in hand and slain lion at his feet. The fourth chapel on the right from the entrance contains 16th-century stained glass. Mid-19th century, the chapelle des cathéchismes was added.
The organcase of Saint Etienne du Mont dates from 1633 and was built by Jean Buron. It is a masterpiece and perhaps the most beautiful organ case in Paris and the oldest case which is preserved completely.
Pierre le Pescheur finished the instrument itself in 1636. The organ was badly damaged in a fire in 1760. Francois-Henri Clicquot rebuilt the organ in 1777, completing works carried out by Nicolas Somer, who died in 1771. Aristide Cavaillé-Coll revised the organ again in 1863. The third revision was carried out by Beuchet-Debierre in 1956. He placed the pedal windchests outside the organ and the windchest of the récit beneath the organ, replaced the old console by additional stops of the positif, brought up the stop list to 83, of which 56 are placed inside the organ case, electrified the traction, and placed a new console in the north transept gallery. In 1975, Gonzalez revoiced the instrument completely.
39 stops are still from before the revolution, but they are severly altered (only 7 stops are still located on their orignal place); 6 stops are of Cavaillé-Coll.
|Main builder||History||Latest restauration|
1636 - Pierre le Pescheur
1717 - Julien Tribuot
1777 - François-Henri Clicquot
1863.1873 - Aristide Cavaillé-Coll
1956 - Beuchet-Debierre
1975 - Gonzalez
1991/2002 - Dargassies
|1975 - Gonzalez|
IV/85 - Electrical traction
Titulaires: Thierry Escaisch & Vincent Warnier
Famous organists in the past: Guillaume Lasceux (1774-1819), Maurice Duruflé (1929-1986).
Masses with organ: saturday 18.45 h sunday 11.00 h, 18.45 h
Specific links: -