Paris’ Only Steel Church ‘NOTRE DAME DE TRAVAIL’ & 1885 Exposition Universelle

Paris’ ‘NOTRE DAME DE TRAVAIL’ …a few minutes from Gare Montparnasse is in the 14th. It is, in short, a place of worship built (1902) for the working class. The idea was to have a church which reflected the congregation and where worshipers felt comfortable praying together.  

Here’s the cool part: The entire inside is exposed metal construction, the only one of its kind in Paris, some 135 tons worth…honed into inspiring elegance….like the Tour D’Eiffel, it combines strength with grace…and a bit of good timing.  In fact as you admire the interior you can begin to see some design elements that are reflected in the more famous Tour D’Eiffel….

During construction, church financing was pretty tight so when pavilions from Le Palasis D’Industrie, from the 1885 EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE, were being dismantled for use in the 1990 Exhibition, the church moved fast…. According to church documents, many of those very same pieces are today inside the church. And are they ever impressive!

Clearly the church was way ahead of its time when it came to recycling! Amen! (More surprising ‘recycled’ Paris history in future videos…!)

Any walking tour of Paris must include this….the organ located behind the main entrance is also a sight to see. As a wag once quipped in another Paris story…(ok, it was me!) …’see something worth hearing’!

(A big thanks to NOTRE DAME DE TRAVAIL church officials who graciously made time for me and my questions)!

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