Saint-Séverin, Paris

The Church of Saint-Séverin is a Roman Catholic church in the Latin Quarter of Paris, 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.HistorySéverin of Paris, a devout hermit, lived on the banks of the River Seine during the first half of the fifth century. The oratory which was built over his tomb became the site of a small Romanesque church which was built around the eleventh century. As a result of the rapidly expanding community on the Left Bank, it was decided a larger church was required. The new structure, built at the beginning of the thirteenth century in the Gothic style, had a nave with lateral aisles. An additional aisle on the south side was built in the early 14th century to accommodate the growing congregations from the nearby university.After the church was seriously damaged by fire in 1448 during the Hundred Years' War, the archpriest Guillaume d'Estouteville rebuilt the church in the Late-Gothic style, adding a new aisle to the north. In 1489, a semi-circular apse was added at the eastern end with an ambulatory complete with columns including the strangely coiled central pillar. Additional space was provided by constructing chapels along the outer aisles. After their completion in 1520, the church took on the general appearance it still has today. In 1643, a second sacristy was added and in 1673, the royal architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart built the Communion chapel on the church's southeast corner. In 1684, the decorator Charles le Brun modified the design of the choir, removing the rood screen and providing the apse columns with marble facing.

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