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“The saddest place in Paris is still lovely”

Chapelle Expiatoire
Ranked #260 of 2,255 things to do in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: In the tranquil setting of Square Louis XVI, lies a marvel of late neo-classical architecture: the Chapelle Expiatoire. The expiatory chapel was built in 1815 on the orders of the late king’s brother, Louis XVIII. On the exact spot beheaded sovereigns were buried in 1793 along with many other illustrious victims of the Revolution, including Marie-Antoinette. The chapel is dedicated to the memory of the royal family.Open:> All the year, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed:> 1st January, 1st May and 25th December. Admission fees: Adults : 5,5€; Concessions (18 to 25) = 4€; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups
Reviewed 18 February 2013

Paris is a happy city. There is nothing ugly anywhere, everything is beautifully presented. The food, flowers, clothes, everyone is beautiful. This place is beautiful too, but very sad. It's an attempt at redemption by the city for having put the King and Queen to the guillotine. The white rose bushes are lovely, the dome is lovely, the little cat in the cloister is lovely, the memory of the Revolution, maybe not so lovely...but it did pave the way for modern France and that's a great thing.

6  Thank lnscout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 16 of 83 reviews

Reviewed 10 February 2013

Are you tired of queues to Paris attractions? Do you want to see something beautiful and touching that holds part of Parisian history within it? Then this is the place for you!

When we arrived here in the afternoon there were no queues. While visiting the attraction, we only saw handful of people touring this place. The burial ground, which you have to cross to get in the chapel, is simple, but beautiful. The chapel itself is pretty small, but a lovely piece of neo-classical architecture. It is dedicated to King Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette. The crypts are also worth the visit. A true place of tranquility!

3  Thank whippo2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Not hard to find - a big walled in square not far from the metro. Beautiful monument - very underrated - we enjoyed this as much as many of the 'big attractions' in Paris. The monument is very touching, especially reading Marie Antoinette's last letter (addressed mostly to her children), heart breaking.

Outside in front of the monument seems to be an attraction for local young couples in love :)

2  Thank Julia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2011

If you walk along Haussmann towards the Madeleine area, you'll find a park called the Square Louis XVI at Rue Pasquier. Inside this peaceful park is a dark piece of history: it contains the mass grave of the victims of the Revolution. To get to the chapel, you have to cross the burial ground, which includes the graves of the Swiss Guards along the perimeter, making this a somber landmark...but its historical significance makes it worth seeing. The small chapel has large statues of both Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette on the first floor. One floor below, you'll find a black marble altar marking the spot where they found Louis XVI's remains.

3  Thank L D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 March 2010

We visited the Chappelle Expiatoire because we happened to be strolling by it down the Boulevard Haussmann. It was built in the 1820s on the site of the old Madeleine cemetery, where victims of the guillotine were buried, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

When the monarchy was restored, Louis' brother, Charles X, had the king and queen's bodies resurrected and moved to the Basilica St. Denis, where French monarchs were traditionally buried. He had the "Expiatory Chapel" built on the site, presumably as expiation for France's sin in killing their monarchs.

There is an altar inside, and huge statues of Louis and Marie Antoinette. Downstairs there is a sepulchre which marks the spot where their bodies were found, and funeral banners representing cities in France, which were carried in the procession which took the bodies to St. Denis for reburial.

During the various republics, there were arguments about tearing the chapel down, but (being French), the arguments went on without any action being taken. The chapel is now being restored and seems to be a permanent, odd little fixture in Paris.

6  Thank Linda_22003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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