Saint Germain des Pres Church is a historic burial church of the Merovingian Kings from the 6th century.
The first Benedictine monastery church of Saint Germain des Prés was build during the 6th century by Merovingian King Kildebert I.
Behind the construction work were Kildebert’s experiences from the 542 AD siege of Zaragoza (Spain), which was ended by him, after hearing that the city had been put under protection of Saint Vincent.
PHOTO: Saint Germain des Prés church, as seen from Boulevard Saint-Germain. In the picture, the wooden stalls are part of the district’s annual Marche de Noel Christmas market, which takes place from 5th of December to the 1st of January.
Grateful of the end to the siege, the Archbishop of Zaragoza gave Kildebert I a stola that had belonged to the saint himself, and the golden cross of Toledo.
To hold these holy artifacts, a new church, originally called “Sainte-Croix et Saint-Vincent“, was build.
Construction work on the church was completed in 558, and co-incidentally, the day of the building’s consecration, 23rd of December, was also the day when Kildebert I died.
Throughout its history, Eglise Saint Germain des Pres has also acted as a royal burial church for the Neustrian rulers, and, as a royal church, it also became among the richest.
Top French scriptorium organization also worked within its corridors from the 11th century onward, which made the church one of the most significant centers for Catholic culture until the French Revolution (1789-99).
Architecture of the current church is mostly from the reconstruction work done throughout the period 1014-1163.
During that reconstruction, the church was rededicated to the saint protector of Paris, Saint Germain, who personally consecrated the original church on the day of Kildebert I’s death.
Top highlights for the church include its magnificent bell tower, build from 990 to 1014, today one of the oldest bell towers in France.
To find out more about events at the church and to plan a visit here, you’ll find the official website, at www.eglise-sgp.org, helpful.