Language variant : Reformed Church of the Oratory of the Louvre
Architect : n/a
Locality : Paris
Country : France
Building style : Baroque
Project on the map (green arrow)
"This monument evokes the name of the cardinal of Bérulle and the memory of the Order of the Oratory he established. In the beginning of the 17th c. father Bérulle, shocked by the disarray in the ecclesiastic circles, which discredited the clergy in the public opinion, decided to open a convent where priests could strengthen their vocation by studying and practicing piety. In 1616, this new congregation of ecclesiastics migrates from the heights of the Faubourg Saint Jacques, where they first searched for asylum. They bought in the district of Saint Honoré a hotel that Henri IV used to rent for Gabrielle d’Estrées. It was near this hotel, while visiting his favourite, that Jean Chatel attacked the king.
On the location of the demolished hotel and the neighbouring grounds rose the buildings of the convents and the Chapel of the Oratory. In his haste to see the building accomplished, father Bérulle invigorated the workers by carrying himself a hod on his shoulders. All his disciples started to work as well on the construction.
In 1621 the construction of a bigger church, based on the plans of Clément Métézeau and the drawings of Jacques Lemercier, started to replace the small chapel.
The church was completed in 1630.
During two centuries the Order of the Oratory exerted a considerable influence. As the Revolution started, the Order was dissolved, the church, by the decree of the Convention, was destined to become 'a storage for army equipment, and converted into a secular place by the destruction of all the altars, monuments and tombs'. One of the monuments that could be admired before this tragedy was a bronze bas-relief of Girardon (a gift from Mme de Montespan), and the tomb of Antoine Aubrey, killed by his gruesomely famous daughter, the marquise de Brinvilliers."
Jean Bayet, Les Edifices Réligieux: XVII, XVIII et XIX siècles, Ed. H. Laurens, 1910, Paris, pp. 9–12. Série: les richesses d’art de la ville de Paris.
Ed. and trans. Adzhoa Makkonen