About the ChurchThe impressive Church of Saint-Sulpice (Église Saint-Sulpice), tall and beautiful, attracts attention almost immediately. It began being built in 1646 under the direction of various architects, and was built for more than 100 years. Each of them added a small addition in the spirit of their style. The church is slightly smaller than the Notre Dame Cathedral: its length is 113 meters, its width is 58 meters and its height is 34 meters, making it the second largest church in Paris. At the foot of the church is a square where you can see the "Four Ghost Fountain," built of figures of four bishops who sit beside their pets and maintain order.
Inside the space of the church you can see its walls decorated with works by the artist Delacroix, whose must see piece is "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel." The windows of the church are also filled with magnificent stained glass.
In addition, the church is known for its impressive organ, which contains 6,588 keys and was built in 1862. The organ of Saint-Sulpice is one of the three "hundred stations" that exist throughout Europe. Besides necessary improvements and changes in the electronic and mechanical mechanisms, the organ is almost completely preserved.
In 1724 excavations were conducted in the vicinity of the church, revealing a tenth-century tomb. This proved that there was already a prayer house and a cemetery there.
Victor Hugo was wedding inside the walls of the church.
SundialIn 1727 a sundial was added in the church. It is a clock that uses the movement of the shadow falling from a thin object positioned in the sun to show the estimated time. The clock was set there to help the church priest set the equinoxes (the day on which the day and night are equal) and set the date for Easter, which is always celebrated on the first Sunday after a full moon, immediately after the spring equinox.
The sundial is actually a line stretched across the floor that climbs a 11 meters high white marble pillar . At the top of the pillar is a ball with a cross. In the southern window, a lens system is installed so that the sun beam shines across the line. On the autumn equinox, the ray of the sun touches a copper elliptical plate that sits on the floor next to the altar. One of the reasons why Saint-Sulpice was preserved during the French Revolution, while other churches were damaged and destroyed, was that the sundial was used for a variety of scientific experiments.
ArchitectureThe western façade of the church is two floors high, with rows of decorated columns. A large arched window fills the interior with natural light, and on either side of the front door are seashells, on a rock-like base given to King Francois I as a gift by the Venetian Republic. In the 18th century the church added the sundial.
Shortly before the French Revolution broke out, the architect Jean-François Chalgrin, who also designed the Arc de Triomphe, planned the two towers that rose over the church. Some critics claim that the harmonious appearance of the church was damaged due to the mismatch between the pair of towers.
In the 19th century, following the damage of the revolution, the interior of the church, which now became the "temple of victory", was redesigned. Frescoes painted by renowned painter Eugene Delacroix were added. These adorn the walls of the side chapel. The most famous paintings are "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel" and "The Expulsion of Heliodorus."