The Church

The Church of Saint Pierre de Montmartreis one of the oldest churches in Paris. Built on the site of a Roman temple and a 7th-century Merovingian church, it was consecrated in 1147. Some scattered signs of Gallo-Roman occupation have been detected at the much-disturbed site, with remains of walling as belonging to the Temple of Mars, from which Montmartre took its name. Louis VI purchased the area in 1133 and founded there a Benedictine Abbey, and rebuilt the Merovingian church; it was reconsecrated by Pope Eugenius III in 1147, in a splendid royal ceremony where Bernard of Clairvaux and Peter, Abbot of Cluny acted as acolytes. Four black marble columns (two against the west wall, one at the apse entrance and one in the north aisle) date to the original Merovingian church built in the seventh century on the site of a Roman temple of Mercury. The present church is mainly Early Gothic; the choir was consecrated in 1147 in presence of the great Catholic reformer Bernard of Clairvaux. In the 1670s and early 1680s music played an important role in the religious services of the abbey. Marc-Antoine Charpentier wrote devotional music to be performed there. The abbey was destroyed completely during the revolution. The church was restored during 1899-1905.

The church is an example of the transitional period between Roman and early Gothic architecture. The choir has one of the earliest ribbed vaults in Paris (c.1147). The facade dates from the 17th century and the bronze doors from 1980, made by T. Gismondi. Foundations of the Roman temple were uncovered on the north side of the church. The (partly Merovingian) cemetery is only open at All Saint's Day.

The organ

The organ case comes from the old Notre-Dame-de-Lorette or St-Pierre-des-Arcis, and was made at the end of the 18th century. In 1868, Cavaillé-Coll built a new instrument into this old case. Mutin added a Soubasse (pneumatic traction) and modified the console at an unknown date.
It was restored in 1960 by the Beuchet-company (Picaud), who changed the Plein jeu. Maintenance was performed in 1991 by Sebire & Glandaz.

Main builder History Latest restauration
1869 - A Cavaille-Coll 1869 - Cavaillé-Coll
?? - Mutin
1960 - Beuchet
1991 - Sebire & Glandaz

II/12 - Mechanical traction

Titulaire: Michel Boédec
Famous organists in the past: -

Concerts: occasionally
Masses with organ: saturay 6 PM - sunday 9 - 11 AM

Specific links: -

Michel Boédec: Improvisation I

Michel Boédec: Improvisation II

Michel Boédec: Improvisation III

Michel Boédec: Improvisation IV

Michel Boédec: Improvisation V