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The best way for Christians to change culture is to make culture. Andy Crouch

Travel Tips

France North

France North – from Dunkirk to Dijon

From north to south
 
Dunkirk:
- In the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Dunkerque there are 15 paintings by the Catholic Polish painter Jacek Andrzej Rossakiewicz (1956) entitled the Passion of Dunkirk. 
 
St-Omer:
- Cathedral with several unique art works, like a medieval floor with many scenes, windows and a painting by Rubens. 
 
Bourbourg:
- St. Jean Baptiste church restored with sculptures by Jewish English sculptor Anthony Caro, which were commissioned in 1999 and completed in 2008. Caro designed a full-immersion font, in the form of an imposing womb-like spiral of gleaming white concrete, a series of nine sculptures, collectively known as The Creation, which stand in the niches behind the font, an altar, crucifix and some other sculptures.
 
Hem:
- Chapelle Sainte-Thérèse-de-l'Enfant-Jésus et de la Sainte-Face. Chapel built in 1956-58. With mosaics and windows by Alfred Manessier, sculptures by Eugène Dodeigne and Jean Roulland, and a tapestry of the Sainte-Face based on a painting by Georges Rouault. A fine example of art sacré after WW II.
 
Lille:                                                                                                                                              
- In het Centre d’Art Sacré Contemporain, Place Gilleson (in the modern crypt of the cathedral Notre-Dame de la Treille), the 130 works of the collection of Gilbert Delaine called La Passion de Dunkerque are exhibited in alternating exhibitions. Works of e.g. Sergio Ferro, Ladislas Kijno, Jean Roulland and Andy Warhol. See the website for a list of all of the artists.
- The Musée des Beaux-Arts is one of France’s most important museums.
 
Abbeville:
- In Saint Sepulchre church stained glass window by Manessier.
 
Amiens:
- Cathedral 
 
Le Cateau-Cambrésis: 
- Matisse Museum in the little town where Matisse was born. With around 100 works by Matisse.
 
Bohain-en-Vermandois:
- House where Matisse grew up. The old grain business of his father can be visited. www.bohainenvermandois.fr
 
Aubenton:
- In the church a window by Charles Eyck.
 
Jeantes la Ville:                                     
- Romanesque church with frescoes and stained glass windows by the 20th-century Dutch Catholic artist Charles Eyck, made in 1962. Also a Romanesque baptismal font.
 
Bancigny:
- In the church a Romanesque baptismal font.
 
Lemé:
- Church museum about the history of the Reformation and its impact on the region. Open Saturday and Sunday 2.30-6 p.m. from July to the third week of September.
 
Noyon:
- John Calvin Museum (Musée Jean Calvin), Place Aristide Briand, Noyon. This is a modern museum dedicated to the French reformer, located on the site of his birth house in Noyon. The museum's collections include Reformation-era propaganda posters, works of Calvin, and paintings.
- The cathedral is one of the earliest Gothic churches.
 
Laon:
- Beautiful old town centre with many medieval buildings, among which the Gothic cathedral and the Romanesque Chapelle des Templiers.
 
Soissons:
- In the cathedral is a painting by Rubens (Adoration of the Shepherds)
- Abby of Saint-Jean des Vignes.
 
Beauvais:
- Gothic cathedral. The cathedral's chief artistic treasures are stained glass windows of the 13th, 14th and 16th centuries.
 
Reims:
- Cathedral with windows by Chagall (1974).
- The Basilique St.-Rémi is the oldest church of Reims and the largest Romanesque church in the north of France.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts with works from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Especially the Renaissance is well represented with a collection of works by Lucas Cranach the Elder and the Younger.
 
Metz:
- In the Cathédrale St. Etienne the famous window series by Chagall and stained glass windows by cubist Jacques Villon.
- Diocesal museum, 13, Rue Marchant, Metz.
 
Vic-sur-Seille:
- Musée Georges de La Tour, Place Jeanne d'Arc, Vic-sur-Seille. The museum takes its name from the 17th-century painter Georges de La Tour, who was born in 1593 in Vic-sur-Seille. The collection consists of around 100 paintings from the 17th to 19th century.
 
Varengeville sur Mer (High Normandy):  
- In the church is a Tree of Jesse window by Braque (1960) and a painting by contemporary catholic French artist Michel Ciry.
- Musée Michel Ciry, 6 bis rue Marguerite Rolle, Varengeville sur Mer. www.museemichelciry.com
 
Rouen:
- Eglise Jeanne d’Arc, consecrated in 1979, modern church by architect Louis Arretche (1905-1991).
- Large gothic cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen).
 
Bayeux:                                                                                                                                                 
- Bayeux is a major tourist attraction, best known to British and French visitors for the Bayeux tapestry, made to commemorate the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The tapestry is believed to have been woven in England. It is displayed in a museum in the town centre. 
- The large Norman-Romanesque cathedral (1077) was the original home of the tapestry.
 
Caen:
- in the Monastery of the Benedictines at Couvrechef-La Folie windows by Sergio de Castro. http://www.sergiodecastro.org 
 
Giverny:
- This is where Claude Monet lived from 1883 till his death in 1926. Here he made many paintings of his garden, the lilies in the pond and the Japanese bridge. The house and garden can be visited. www.fondation-monet.fr 
 
Coutances (Normandy):
- Coutances Cathedral is a Gothic Catholic cathedral. It is a classic example of the Gothic style of Normandy in its use of long straight vertical lines.
 
Enghien-les-Bains:
- In the Temple d’Enghien-les-Bains exhibitions take place.
 
Saint-Germain-en-Laye:
- Musée départemental Maurice Denis, 2 bis, rue Maurice Denis, Saint-Germain-en-Laye with works by  Maurice Denis, the Symbolists, the Nabis and other artists who influenced the history of modern art like  Gauguin, Sérusier, Filiger, Vallotton, Bonnard, Vuillard, Verkade, Ranson, Lacombe, Redon, Mucha, Anquetin. www.musee-mauricedenis.fr
 
Paris 
- The Louvre, with art from Antiquity and of the Middle Ages - the 19th century. www.louvre.fr
- The Orangerie with late 19th and early 20th-century French art, with as highlight two large rooms with huge waterlily paintings by Monet. www.musee-orangerie.fr
- Centre Pompidou has works of the 20th century. Permanent exposition of works by Georges Rouault in MNAM, Centre Pompidou. www.cnac-gp.fr
- Musée d'Orsay, famous for its collection of impressionistic works. www.musee-orsay.fr
- Musée National du Moyen Age. The National Museum of the Middle Ages is housed in two exceptional Parisian monuments: the Gallo-Roman thermes (1st-3rd centuries) and the Cluny Abbey hotel (late 15th century). It was founded in 1843 with the collections of an art amateur fascinated by the Middle Ages. Fifteen centuries of European art and history in one location. www.musee-moyenage.fr 
- Musée Rodin, 77 Rue de Varenne. www.musee-rodin.fr
- Musée Delacroix, 6 Rue de Furstenberg. www.musee-delacroix.fr
- Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaisme, Hôtel de Saint-Aignan, 71 Rue du Temple. www.mahj.org
- Musée Bible & Terre Sainte, 21 rue d'Assas. Its rich collection consist of objects that illustrate daily life in Palestine through the ages. http://www.icp.fr/fr/Culture/Musee-Bible-Terre-Sainte
- St Séverin. In the gothic Église Saint-Séverin a permanent exposition of works of the Miserere series by Rouault in the Chapelle Mansart/ du Saint-Sacrament. In the church windows by Bazaine.
- St. Sulpice,17th-century church. Inside, the main attractions of St-Sulpice are the Delacroix paintings in the Chapelle des Anges (Chapel of the Angels), the first on your right as you enter.
- St. Gervais. Gothic church with windows by Sylvie Gaudin and Claude Courageux. Three times a day services are being held with the monastic communities of Jerusalem.
- Notre-Dame-d’Espérance, Paris 11e, architect Bruno Legrand, 1997. With a cross (Cross of Hope) by Nicolas Alquin from 2003. Also windows and some other sculptures of interest. Also expositions. 
- Notre-Dam-de-l’Arche-d’Alliance, Paris 15e, Architecture Studio Martin Robain, 1998.
- Chapelle de l’Agneau-de-Dieu, Paris 12e, architects Christian Schwinn and Stanislas Fiszer, 1998.
- Saint-Luc, Paris 19e, architect Pierre-Henri Montel/BSST, 1998.
- Notre-Dame-de-la-Sagesse, Paris 13e, architect Pierre-Louis Faloci, 1999.
- Notre-Dame-de-Pentecôte, La Défense, architect Franck Hammoutène, 2000. In the midst of the new La Défense business area with a number of contemporary artworks inside. Worth the trip! http://catholiques.aladefense.cef.fr/
- Saint-François-de-Molitor, Paris 16e, architecta Jean-Marie Duthilleul and Corinne Callies, 2005.
- Galerie Bansard, 26 Avenue de la Bourdonnais. Expositions of work by Catholic artists. www.galerie-bansard.org
- Galerie Saint-Séverin, 4 rue des Prêtres-Saint-Séverin - Paris 5e, started in 1990 by the diocesal organisation Art, Culture et Foi, Paris to stimulate the dialogue between contemporary art and Christian spirituality. Artists whose work has been shown: Jean-Michel Alberola, Marc Couturier, Gerhardt Richter, Emmanuel Saulnier, Pierre Buraglio and many others. http://catholique-paris.cef.fr/-206-60-Galerie-Saint-Severin-.html
- Exhibitions in the Église lutherienne des Billettes.
- Expositions in Collège des Bernardins, 20 rue de Poissy, Paris. www.collegedesbernardins.fr
- Église Notre Dame de la Croix has expositions.
 
Vincennes:
- In the Eglise réformeé de Vincennes exhibitions take place.
 
Évry:
- Resurrection cathedral, opened in 1995, by the Swiss architect Mario Botta. With old and new sculptures (e.g. by Gérard Garouste), stations of the cross, windows by Kim En Joong etc. Only newly built cathedral in the 20th century in France.
- Expositions at l’Agence Nationale pour les Arts Sacrés. http://anas-evry.org 
 
Chartres:
- Cathedral. Some recent windows by Kim En Joong.
- Musée du Vitrail – 5, rue du Cardinal Pie. Museum about glass art (stained-glass windows). http://www.centre-vitrail.org/en/
 
Varennes-Jarcy:
- In the church Saint-Sulpice windows by contemporary French artist Carole Benzaken with beautiful flower motifs. Also a cross and altar by Nicolas Alquin. www.varennesjarcy.fr/site/eglise-saint-sulpice-varennes.php
 
Sarrebourg:
- Chapelle des Cordeliers in the centre of the city. Former Franciscan church, presently a museum which displays since 1976 in the western 'opening' a stained glass titled La paix (Peace) by Marc Chagall. The glass is 12 m high and 7.50 m wide. 
 
Strasbourg:
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Gothic cathedral famous for its gothic sculptures.
- Musée de l’oeuvre de Notre-Dame: with works that come out of the cathedral and its surrounding regions from the medieval and renaissance periods (sculptures, windows, paintings by Hans Baldung Grien and Conrad Witz).                                                                            
- Museum of church conservation of the cathedral, Boulevard de la Victoire 5, Strasbourg.
 
Saint-Dié-des-Vosges:
- The Eglise Réformée has windows designed by Annie Vallotton and a painting by Henri Lindegaard.
 
Colmar:                                                                                                                                                
- Unterlinden Museum with the Isenheim Altar by Matthias Grünewald
 
Ronchamp:                                                                                                                                            
- Le Corbusier’s church from 1955.
 
Audincourt:                                                                                                                                          
- Church of Sacré-Coeur, built in 1949-1051 under influence of the Art Sacré movement. Architect: Novarina. With remarkable windows and altar painting by Léger and façade mosaic and baptistery by Bazaine.
 
Angers (Western France):   
- Angers Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Maurice d'Angers) is a Romanesque and Gothic cathedral in the city of Angers, in the Loire country of western France. The west portal contains 12th-century sculptures and interior is illuminated with stained glass windows from the 12th through 16th centuries. The interior walls of Angers Cathedral are decorated with beautiful tapestries, which form one of the most famous and precious collections in Europe. Most of them were woven in 1376-81 for the cathedral. The illustrations were drawn by Jean Bondol based on an illuminated manuscript and the weaving was overseen by Nicolas Bataille. Some of the tapestries (including the largest, the Angers Apocalypse) are now displayed in Angers Castle, but 11 of the medieval tapestries still hang on the cathedral walls.
- The Musée Jean-Lurçat et de la tapisserie contemporaine, Jean Lurcat Museum for contemporary tapestry. In the medieval hospital of Saint John. The main work here is the extensive series of the Chant du monde by Jean Lurçat.
 
Blois :
- Diocesal Museum of Religious Art, in the old convent, 2 rue Anne de Bretagne.
 
Vézelay:                                                                                                                                                 
- Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Peter, both Romanesque.
 
Saulieu:                                                                                                                                                  
- St. Andoche (Romanesque).                                    
- Museum Pompon.                                              
 
Fontenay:                                                                                                                                            
- Cistercian Abbey (Romanesque).
 
Vausse:                                                                                                                                                     
- Cistercian Priory (Romanesque).         
 
Pontigny:                                                                                                                                                
- Cistercian church (Romanesque).
 
Ste. Magnance:                                   
- church with Romanesque sarcophagus.
 
Auxerre:                                                                                                                                                   
- abbey and crypt (Romanesque) of St. Étienne cathedral.  
 

Also see: Irving Hexham, ed, Marke Konnert, Peter and Carine Barrs, Christian Travelers Guide to France. http://www.christian-travelers-guides.com/