Saint-Séverin Church, Latin Quarter, Paris

SaintSeverinChurchParisSaint-Séverin is a magnificent church, located on the lively tourist street Rue Saint-Séverin. It is one of the oldest churches that remains standing on the Left Bank, and it continues in use as a place of worship.

It is built in flamboyant gothic style mostly between the 13th and 15th century. Covered by Gothic arches, and what looks like a small courtyard is in fact a former mass grave,Saint-SéverinCourtyardParis where only wealthy Parisians were buried in tombs. What’s more, in 1474 the first surgical operation was carried out here on a prisoner suffering from kidney stones. The operation was a success and the prisoner’s death sentence avoided!

The church’s external features include some fine gargoyles and flying buttresses. Its bells include the oldest one remaining in Paris, cast in 1412; their ringing is recalled in a well known poem in praise of Paris by Alan Seeger.

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