We were on our way to the Cluny and happened upon Saint Severin, so I took a few pictures. Séverin 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. By 1200 the modest Romanesque church of Saint Séverin was no longer adequate for the robustly expanding neighborhood, and the decision was taken to replace it with a larger structure in the emerging new style that created “churches of the sun with an architecture of light”. To its contemporaries this architectural mode was known as the French style; today we call it Gothic architecture. Lots of people take pictures of it since it is just down the street from Notre Dame.
Internal features of the church include both ancient stained glass and a set of seven modern windows by Jean René Bazaine (1970), inspired by the seven sacraments of the Catholic church, around the ambulatory.
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.
The upper windows around the church were created from the late 14th to the 15th century, and they allow sunlight to illuminate the church vividly throughout the day. The windows nearest the entrance, to right and left, are the oldest, along with the central choir windows. From the left, St. Andrew with his X-shaped cross, Saints Peter and John the Baptist pointing to the Lamb of God, Michael the Archangel. In the central windows are, on the left, the Virgin Mary holding the infant Christ, and to the right a figure of the Christ with a red halo, holding the globe of the universe. (These two central panels together with the following John the Evangelist were removed from the original flat end wall and installed here during the 1489 construction of the semi-circular apse.) On the right side of the choir, Saints John the Evangelist and Martin of Tours; St. Genevieve and the abbot Séverin, patron of the parish.
Contemporary abstract windows in the apse chapels, created by Jean Bazaine in 1970, are dedicated to the sacraments.
The organ is beautiful but we thought this small organ was almost as pretty.
The alter is a relatively simple affair, you can see the twisted column in the background. The elements visible here date from the 15th century expansion of the church. The semi-circular shape of the apse embraces and accentuates the central altar, while at the same time the curved form inspires an intimate feeling of shelter and protection.
Saint Severin: http://www.saint-severin.com