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Taken 6-Aug-07


Église de la Madeleine - Altar

L'église de la Madeleine (more formally, L'église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine; less formally, just La Madeleine), Madeleine Church in English, is a church occupying a commanding position in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It was designed in its present form as a temple to the glory of Napoleon's army.

Inside, the church has a single nave with three domes over wide arched bays, lavishly gilded in a decor inspired as much by Roman baths as by Renaissance artists. At the rear of the church, above the high altar, stands a statue by Charles Marochetti depicting St Mary Magdalene being carried up to heaven by two angels. The half-dome above the altar is frescoed by Jules-Claude Ziegler, entitled The History of Christianity, showing the key figures in the Christian religion with—a sign of its Second Empire date— Napoleon occupying centre stage.

The Madeleine is affiliated with a Benedictine abbey, and masses and the most fashionable weddings in Paris are still celebrated here.

Église de la Madeleine - Altar