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)
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