6. Paris: Best Churches in the City Private Walking Tour
The churches and cathedrals of Paris Old Town are prime examples of Parisian architecture and art. They are also a witness to the complex history of religion in France, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the French Revolution and its aftermath. Discover the most important sacred monuments of the City of Lights with a 5-Star Expert Guide.
The 2,5-hour tour includes sightseeing in Paris’s Old Town and a visit to 2 churches. The tour begins with a visit to Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, a stunning 12th-century Gothic church located directly across from the Louver Palace. Step inside to admire stained glass, stone sculptures, a Flemish altarpiece and a unique ""churchwarden's pew"". As you explore the church interiors, your Local Guide will entertain you with historical facts and myths about religion in France, including the historic relationship between the King of France and the Pope as well as the reasons for the later separation of the Catholic Church and the State.
Take a walk down the picturesque Seine River to see the Saint-Jacques Tower, which is the only remaining part of a 16th-century church that was destroyed during the French Revolution. Head to the Ile de la Cité island and see one of the city’s most prominent icons - the Notre Dame Cathedral. Although the cathedral has been closed since the 2019 fire, you can still admire some of the stunning details of its Gothic exterior. Another amazing church on this route will be Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Originally founded in 506, this historic abbey was the center of intellectual life before the French Revolution. Inside this colorful Gothic church you will find tombs of Rene Descartes, Merovingian kings and other notable figures.
Choose the 3,5-hour option to visit one more sacred landmark of Paris, the Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel). This extended tour includes skip-the-line tickets to a royal chapel within the medieval Palais de la Cité, a former residence of the Kings of France. Bypass the crowds and enter a small but richly decorated chapel, which is considered among the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture. Admire its stunning interiors and learn about the royal chapel’s important role in the political and cultural ambitions of King Louis IX and his successors.