Monday, March 6, 2017

St. Severin church in Paris

Right around the corner from Notre Dame and St. Julien le Pauvre
stands St. Severin church,
actually within view from St. Julien's entry door.
I thought this shot looked perfect for Easter
coming right up. 

While I was there it was dressed up for the Christmas holiday
complete with Nativity scene
(I love the little angel in the alcove overlooking the scene)...

... and surrounded by a paper sea of baby angels 
made by children. 

How much sweeter could it get?

This little angel particularly stood out. 

Such magnificent vaulted Gothic ceilings.

The church of St. Severin sits in the Latin Quarter
not far from the University so is just near streets and streets of 
restaurants and sweet shops and filled with gaggles of young people.

St. Severin was named either after a hermit who lived along the Seine
in the 5th century, replacing the oratory built over his tomb...
or after Saint Severin, a preacher also of the 5th century. 

The first small church over the hermit's tomb
was replaced to accommodate its growing parish
and was rebuilt again in the 14th century.
Damaged by fire during the Hundred Years War,
it was rebuilt again, finished in 1520
but added onto throughout the centuries. 

While there are many, 
one of the unique features of this church
are the fanning columns in the double ambulatory
that appear almost like a forest of trees,
particularly the center one with its beautifully-carved twisted trunk. 

The Black Heart is a remembrance to a mother and daughter,
Catherine de Brinon and Catherine de Canteleu,
whose family contributed to the church since 1491.
They died in 1699. 

The church is also said to house the relics of the patron saint of the Sorbonne University,
St. Ursule (apparently just one of many churches across Europe to house parts of her relics.)
While it is said that the legend of St. Ursule (or Ursula) could fill 100 pages,
there seem to be a thousand versions. 
But the basic idea is that instead or marrying a Pagan prince,
this 3rd century daughter of a Christian king 
(ruler of Cornwall according to Geoffrey of Monmouth)
fled on pilgrimage to Rome instead, her virginal maidens in tow.
Later, enroute to Cologne, they were all captured by Huns and killed. 
It's believed by some that the Church of St. Ursula in Cologne 
is built over the spot where the holy virgins died. 

Now after reading more about it,
 I just want to go back and take more pictures.
So much more to see and learn. 

Next time, we'll have a short tour of the interior
of the lovely and grand Notre Dame
dressed for the holidays. 

Happy March. It's been snowing here.
I hope the Crocosmia spring bulbs I planted a couple of weeks ago
will still come up. 
Spring forward is almost here. 

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)
Info via Wiki


  1. It is so beautiful Kirsten. Can't wait to see more of your adventures. Take care.

  2. Thanks Donna. Glad you came by. Looking forward to more of spring on your blog!

  3. This is just a fascinating post and I love the photos. How terrific to see the children contributing with their angels. I love that. And that first one -- just perfection for Easter.

    I also wanted to thank you for your lovely comments on my blog posts. We're so smitten with our Baby Grand and over the moon! I love your idea of the treasure hunt. I'll remember that when he's bigger than a burrito!

    And I'm delighted you've found my ancestry blog. Most people other than family aren't really into it but I like cataloging some things there when something unusual comes along. I've sort of neglected it lately, I fear. Too many things on the plate. I know what you mean about being alone on the road -- I have family who is interested but not at all helpful. And with no kids of my own, I'm not sure who really cares in the future, though the cousin's kids will probably appreciate it. I'm hoping to get enough to be able to one day put some form of narrative together -- Swiss Mennonite history (who knew? I sure didn't till this!), history of the insane asylum where our great grandfather died (no wonder he was never spoken about!) and what farming was like in the 1800s here and in Southern Ontario, along with some of the family stories. I really loved your comment about Paulina. That is just fascinating -- and so spot on. I'm planning to do a little travel on... do come back to the blog as I continue to flesh things out now and then. I know other peoples' stories aren't always as fun as our own but I learn a lot about finding things as I see others work! Happy week!

    (Sorry about the long comment here -- would be better for an email but I didn't have a contact for you!)

  4. Gorgeous photos, Kirsten. Oh, those gothic vaulted ceilings juxtaposed with angels made by children. The lofty, the earthy. Thanks for sharing as always!

  5. Jeanie,
    I promise you the Treasure Hunt will win you big points! It's like Christmas only even more exciting with the hunt every time they come to Grandma's. And loved finding your ancestry blog. I can also promise you that sometime someone somewhere, trying to get more info on their own lineage, will be happy to find it as well. That hunt also kinda works that way. Every time I go online to look one of them up, something new someone has found pops up. One place time works to our advantage.

  6. Thanks Val! Always lovely to have you here... especially knowing what a lover of Paris you are! Another of those things we have in common. Making my way over to your blog shortly. See you there! <3 XxxOoo


Hello and Welcome!
Thanks for coming and for making your thoughts and feelings known. I appreciate all comments greatly.
Hope to see you again!