The church is one of the oldest in the capital, and nearby, in the René Viviani square, you can find the oldest tree in Paris too
St Julien le Pauvre is one of the oldest religious buildings in Paris. Built in the Romanesque style in the 13th century, it was actually never finished and in spite of returns to construction over the following centuries it ended up being much smaller than was intended. This humility is perhaps fitting though: after all, the church was named after Julian of Le Mans, whose dedication to helping the poor was considered exemplary.
Art lovers will be charmed by its interior. The capitals of its South columns are decorated with harpies, and there is a paving stone from the original road from Paris (then Lutetia) to Orléans. Because the church is dedicated to Byzantine worship, you won’t find an organ inside, but you will see a wonderful iconostasis and many icons along the church walls. Classical concerts are still regularly held inside, and it’s a simply wonderful place for them.
In 1921 the church was the venue for one of the last major Dada art performances. The event involved writers such as André Breton and the artist Francis Picabia. As they handed out leaflets inviting “friends and enemies” for what would assuredly “not be an anticlerical demonstration”, they shouted things such as "Be dirty!... One must trim his nose as one trims his hair!... One must wash her breasts like she washes facecloths…" The performance was, regrettably, a dud.
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