Taking Your Kids to Paris Churches

Paris is beautiful. Whether you’re traveling on your own or traveling with family, there is something for everyone in your family to enjoy. From priceless art exhibits to delicious food to unique shopping boutiques and more, Paris is the city to visit if you have a thirst for adventure, a passion for history or an eye for fashion.

The lovely sights across Paris are just one reason why travelers are gearing up for a visit. Paris is known for its culture, art, cafes and tourist sights. If you’re traveling to Paris and are looking for some must-see places, then you should consider putting the city’s famous churches on your itinerary. Of course, you can’t visit every major church that Paris has to offer. Narrowing it down might be hard because there’s so many to choose from and so much history to soak up; however, I can list the top 4 on my list and hope that one or all of them end up on your bucket list when touring the City of Light.

Notre Dame

Taking Your Kids to Paris ChurchesNotre Dame is one of the oldest churches in Paris. Its history dates back more than 800 years! Maurice de Sully desired a cathedral worthy of the grand capital. The project was encouraged by his then classmate, King Louise VII. Construction began in 1163, and at the time of construction, the entire city banded together to see the idea come to fruition. While some participated in actively building, others offered money and knowledge. Construction on Notre Dame continued for 100 years.

Notre Dame was dedicated to Mary, Mother of God, and housed within are over 37 different variations of the virgin mother. These representations include works of art like stained glass windows, paintings, sculptures, etc. Aside from its dedication to Mary, known as the Lady of Paris, Notre Dame was also home to multiple historical events such as the marriage of Henry IV and Marguerite de Valois.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Notre Dame is open most days from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Admission is free for anyone under 18
  • Visitors with a Paris Museum Pass get in free with noticeably shorter wait times
  • Admission to Notre Dame is done in groups of 20 every 10 minutes with lengthy wait times by the entrance
  • The many fan-shaped stairs leading up to the towers are old and can be slippery after rain, so it is important to wear comfortable shoes with traction
  • There is no place to stop or catch a breath without delaying other patrons, so make sure to prepare your son or daughter for the experience
  • You can find Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cite, the oldest part of Paris
  • You can access Notre Dame via the Metro or Rer (travel train) as well as other buses running nearby

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur, in the neighborhood of Montmartre, was constructed in 1919. If you go to the top of Butte Montmartre, you’re afforded a breathtaking view of the city below. Housed within the walls of the Sacre Coeur, you’ll find France’s largest mosaic as well as the crypt, which is well worth the visit if you’ve got some time to spare.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • The tour includes a visit to the crypt and may take at least an hour, so prepare your child for a long time period of relative quiet and observance of church mannerisms
  • Admission to the Dome’s breathtaking view of the city is 6 euros
  • If you want to visit just the crypt you can expect a lower admission price
  • Ask for a discount if your child is younger than 18 or disabled
  • A ramp and lift are readily available to accommodate those with physical disabilities
  • The Dome and crypt are both closed from the 1st to the 15th of January
  • For more details, remember to look on the website for recently updated hours

Taking Your Kids to Paris ChurchesSaint Chapelle

Saint Chapelle was built in an astonishing 7 years. The construction of Saint Chapelle was intended to become the housing for ancient Christian relics such as Christ’s Crown of Thorns which was acquired by Saint Louis, the head of the Western Christianity at the time of Saint Chapelle’s construction.

One of the most beautiful aspects of Saint Chapelle is its stained glass windows. Spanning across 15 windows, each of which measures 15 meters high, is 1,113 scenes from both the Old and New Testaments. The scenes recount the history of the world until the arrival of the relics Saint Chapelle was built to house. The stained glass windows are famous around the world, not only for their beauty but also because they’re the largest collection of original stained glass windows and are a big draw for tourists and native Parisians.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Summer hours differ from fall hours, so be sure to check the website
  • Saint Chapelle has no organized tour, so you can spend as long or as short of a time as you wish wandering the church
  • The church sits within walking distance of other historical spots, making it easy to plan a mini day trip of history and architecture

La Madeleine

La Madeleine is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. The first design was drawn up by Pierre Constant d’Ivry and began construction in 1764. After his death, Guillaume-Martin Couture took on the project and decided he wanted to start the project over completely. The design was based on the Roman Pantheon.

Taking Your Kids to Paris Churches

By the time the revolution came to pass the La Madeleine had sawed a discontinuation of construction. Debate swirled about what its purpose would be in Revolutionary France. Ideas for a ballroom, library and marketplace were all suggested but discarded upon discussion. It wasn’t until 1806 that Napoleon decided what the site was to become: Temple of the Glory of the Great Army. It was that decision that caused the construction to be deconstructed and started anew. It was after the fall of Napoleon that it was decided by King Louise XVII that it would be used as a church. Construction was finally completed in 1842.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • La Madeleine is within the heart of Paris, a short distance from the main department store Galeries Lafayette that can itself become a day destination and other famous patisseries that serve world famous desserts
  • There are two different tours, independent and guided
  • Free admission to visitors using the independent tour feature
  • Doors are open from 9:30 am to 7 pm

Taking Your Kids to Paris ChurchesSaint-Sulpice

Saint-Sulpice was built in the 17th century. Today the church is one of the biggest in Paris. If you’re touring local churches in Paris and want to make your itinerary memorable then adding Saint-Sulpice into the lineup of places to see is definitely a must. Inside Saint-Sulpice visitors can admire the nave of the church while taking in Chapelle de la Vierge with a statue of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle and much more. The best part is that cameras are allowed within the church so you can document your trip with pictures to share with your loved ones who couldn’t make the trip with you.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Independent and guided tours are available for visitors
  • Admission is free
  • Doors are open from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm, so you’ll have all day to make the trip

Taking the kids to Paris Churches

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Margalit Sturm Francus
A reformed dentist who gave up pulling teeth to show her son the world! Need tips on how to #travel with #autism? Follow me on Instagram & Facebook
Margalit Sturm Francus

Margalit Sturm Francus

A reformed dentist who gave up pulling teeth to show her son the world! Need tips on how to #travel with #autism? Follow me on Instagram & Facebook

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