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“Great Historical Chapel”

Chapelle Expiatoire
Ranked #259 of 2,252 things to do in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
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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 2 June 2016

This is an extremely interesting and historical chapel that is often overlooked by tourists. This is the original burial site of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (they were subsequently moved to Saint Denis Cathedral). Many other important figures persecuted during the French Revolution were buried here and the grounds are beautiful. It is located near the Galleries Lafayette on Boulevard Hausmann.

Thank John J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 10 of 83 reviews

Reviewed 12 July 2015 via mobile

My son and his fiancée were married here. Since they are not living in France, they did get married in the U.S. Prior to the ceremony in Paris because for a marriage to be valid in France, one must reside there for 80 days prior. This is the burial site for many revolutionists and Marie Antoinette was said to have been buried at the site of the altar. Certainly a romantic site for a destination wedding!

Thank wherewegoin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2015

The Expiatory Chapel was built to show atonement for the regicide of the French monarchy. It is located in the eighth arrondissement in a charming little park, Square-Louis XVI. It was built by Louis XVIII and is dedicated to the memory of his brother, Louis XVI, and his queen, Marie-Antoinette, who were executed in 1793 during the French Revolution. The chapel was built on the site of a former revolutionary mass graveyard, where 3,000 victims of the Revolution were buried; thus, the inner garden of the courtyard is hallowed ground. The park is a cool and peaceful oasis in the middle of a busy city and is frequented by many Parisians.

The chapel itself cannot be fully seen from the entrance on Rue Pasquier because it is surrounded by an open colonnade. These arched side galleries isolate the chapel from the outside world, giving the impression of a peaceful burial place. You go in through the stark exterior façade of the entrance building and go up a flight of steps that leads from the vestibule to the inner garden of the courtyard. The nine arches of the colonnade on each side of the inner garden hold the symbolic gravestones of the Swiss guards who died trying to protect the king when he was arrested at the Tuileries in 1792.

The chapel itself is in the form of a Greek cross, with arms of equal length. There is a main dome at the center of the chapel and three half-domes with circular openings which allow natural light to enter the chapel. Besides the main altar, there are two white marble sculptures of the king and queen. The sculpture of the king in coronation robes shows Louis XVI supported by an angel. The angel points to heaven, signaling the king’s salvation. The sculpture of the queen shows Marie-Antoinette kneeling in front of “Religion,” into whose hands she puts herself. Both sculptures were meant to convey the idea that the king and queen had received Christian mercy and forgiven their enemies, beliefs promoting national conciliation. There are stairs at the back of the side chapels, which give you access to a black and white marble altar, intended to mark the place where the royal remains were found.

The information regarding the chapel’s opening hours has been confusing. It is open from 11:00 - 6:00 PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I went at 1:00 on Saturday afternoon, and, by chance, the curator was there. He assured me that the chapel would be open according to the hours on the chapel web site and for three days of the week. You have the curator’s word on this. The chapel web site is: www.chapelle-expiatoire.monuments-nationaux.fr. The chapel is a ten-minute walk from Église Madeleine. Facing the Madeleine, go down Boulevard Malesherbes and turn right on Rue Pasquier. The Chapelle Expiatoire is a very lovely and meaningful monument; it represents a historical event as well as a politically significant issue of the Restoration era. The entrance fee is 5 ½ euros. I highly recommend that you visit this unique, lovely and serene monument.

5  Thank BeckyBooBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2015

My niece decided to get married in Paris and chose Chapelle Expiatoire. Despite having been to Paris many times, I'd never heard of it and apparently, neither have many Parisians. In a frantic flight down from Montmartre where we were staying, our taxi driver delivered us to the wrong address 5 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. After much hand-waving and pulling out of cell phones and iPads, he finally realized it was basically around the corner - he's just never seen it. It was the perfect place for our small ceremony. Set in a small and pretty garden of white roses, the chapel is dedicated to the memory of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. It is small but exquisite. If it weren't for the wedding, I'm not sure I would ever have found it on any trip but I'm glad we did. If you strolling the 8th arrondisement between Boulevard Haussman and Rue des Mathurins, take 15 minutes to explore this beautiful and peaceful spot.

1  Thank Barbara B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 August 2013

A small memorial chapel that commemorates where Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were interred this chapel is a lovely place to visit. A little out of the way from other attractions this space provides a lovely contemplative space within a bustling city. The small crypt underneath and the history are quite moving.

1  Thank MartyPN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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