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Help Preserve Paris' Oldest Church

Help Preserve Paris' Oldest Church

The recent fire that nearly destroyed the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris reminds us of how precious these historic buildings are to keeping the gift of art, culture, and education with current and future generations.

When in Paris, you’ll not want to miss one of the great restoration projects currently taking place at the church at Saint Germain des Prés, which is the oldest older church in Paris; dating back to the year 543. The church houses centuries of history, art, and culture. There is a major restoration effort underway that is being overseen by architect, Pierre-Antoine Gatier.

Take a Walk Through the Past

Walking through Saint Germain des Prés is like taking a journey to the past. Witness centuries-old art depicting historical and religious figures, intricately decorated capitals portraying aspects of the Old and New Testaments, plants and animals and even monastic life.

Nearly torn down after the French Revolution, the church was saved by famed author Victor Hugo (“Les Misérables,” “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”), among others.

Photos: © Agence Pierre-Antoine Gatier / P. Voisin. All rights reserved.

Leave Your Mark on 1,500 Years of History

Established in 543, Saint Germain des Prés is a top tourist destination in Paris. The Adopt a Saint Germain Star™ campaign is a fundraising effort for the restoration of the Monk's Choir ceiling in the church. Together, donors will breathe new life into this emblematic heritage site, preserving Saint Germain des Prés for generations to come.

“The City of Paris owns the church and has provided 15 percent of the overall funding for the project. The remaining 85 percent of the cost must be borne by private hands – individuals in the main, many donors of small amounts in the main – from all over the world,” shares program leader David Sheppe. “The entire project has been priced out at approximately $7 million. Of the 60 percent of monies raised to date, some 40 percent has been raised in the United States. Currently, we are running low on funds and much more needs to be done.”

Welcoming to locals and tourists, religious and secular alike, the church invites all to explore its rich history and learn about current efforts to preserve this cultural icon.

More information about the restoration project may be found at www.PreserveSaintGermain.org.

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