Paroisse Saint Jean de Montmartre Church

The Saint Jean de Montmartre Church is located in the Montmartre area of Paris and was constructed in an art nouveau style, and was one of the first churches in Paris to be constructed in an entirely different way utilising concrete.

A bit of history

Even though there was already the Eglise Saint-Pierre de Montmartre church sitting at the top of the hill by the Sacre Coeur Basilica, because the area is so steep, the abbot wanted another church that would be further down the hill.  This way it would be more accessible to those that wanted to enjoy mass, yet were not as fit and able to reach the church at the top.

And so, in 1894 the construction of the new church by the Place des Abbesses was entrusted to Anatole de Baudot, who was a former pupil of Viollet Le Duc, and working with the structural engineer Paul Cottancin, he came up with a way of building a new type of structure.
Paroisse Saint Jean de Montmartre front facade
However, the construction was opposed by the Concordat, yet with the imminent closure of the Saint-Pierre church due to major renovations being needed, the timing was even more important to construct a new church.

So, in 1897, the revolutionary construction design for the new Saint Jean de Montmartre church went ahead, which was to be built using reinforced concrete and to have brick for decoration on the outside, that would in turn also add additional support to the structure.

Yet things still did not go smoothly for Anatole de Baudot, as there were many different architects that felt this revolutionary construction technique would not be stable enough and would surely collapse, so a lawsuit was filed in 1898 due to nonconformity of town planning and work was therefore halted.

Then came another major blow, as an order was given that the construction would have to be destroyed, and by the year 1900 numerous tests had been carried out to see the extent of structural movement that the architects felt would happen.
Father Sobbeaux, who at the time was Abbot of the Eglise Saint-Pierre de Montmartre church, along with the architect Anatole de Boudot then decided to provide a technical demonstration within the garden of the church.  This entailed smaller replicas of the pillars and the flagstone floor, in order to demonstrate the stability of the structure.

And after these successful technical demonstrations, which put those sceptical architects' minds at rest, the demolition order was removed and construction of this church in Paris was eventually resumed in 1902, plus Father Sobbeaux also obtained authorisation to have a bell tower constructed as well.

Finally the church was finished in 1904 and was consecrated on 13th June 1904 as a chapel to Saint John the Evangelist, but shortly after, with the law and separation of church and state in 1905, this religious building then became a parish church.

However, the organ itself, which was originally construct by Cavaille-Coll back in 1852 for the Sacre Coeur Ferrandiere in Lyon, was transferred to the Saint Jean de Montmartre church in 1910, and since then has undergone many restoration works, including the most recent renovations in 2009.
Door sculptures at Paroisse Saint Jean de Montmartre
Stained glass window at Paroisse Saint Jean de Montmartre

About Paroisse Saint Jean de Montmartre Church

Today you can discover the architecture of the church, which was highly controversial and revolutionary in its time, along with the Art Nouveau styling including the stained glass that was produced by Jac Galland and the churches interior alter by Pierre Roche.

This church in Paris is known as a parish church and was always thought of as a community place, rather than just one for worship, and with this in mind there are many different events that take place here including coffee mornings and table top fairs, plus there is a scouts group.

Of course, the Catholic Saint Jean de Montmartre Church does hold Mass and is also a place for marriages, baptisms and unfortunate funerals that occur, but you can also have a guided tour of the church which is conducted on the fourth Sunday of each month.
Alter and candle inside Paroisse Saint Jean de Montmartre

Access to Paroisse Saint Jean de Montmartre

Now the church opens at 9.30am and closes at 6pm during the winter months, but in the summer months it does not close until 7pm, however, Mass is held at 6:30pm on a Saturday and at 10:30am on a Sunday.

But during the week and school holidays there is also a Mass held on a Tuesday to Thursday at 12:15pm, yet on a Wednesday and Friday, a Mass is held at 7pm.

You will find this church located on the Place des Abbesses within the 18th Arrondissement of Paris and is right by the Metro station called the Abbesses stop serving line 12, but due to being one of the deepest underground stations in Paris, it is advisable to use the elevators rather than the stairs, to gain access to the Paroisse Saint Jean de Montmartre.

Yet you can also utilise the Montmartrobus, which are the smaller buses that just serve this area of Paris, and while you are here, do try to make the time to discover the Square Jehan-Rictus where the I Love You Wall is also located.