Even in the 19th century, the present-day city of Paris
was only a series of small towns in the countryside,
apart from medieval Paris. In 1824, the village of
Batignolles had five thousand inhabitants and
depended on Clichy. It was decided to build a church; a
subscription was launched. The small sum raised only
allowed the erection of a chapel completed in 1829.
But the population continued to grow and the chapel
was enlarged by Paul-Eugène Lequeux (1806-1873).
Respecting the Latin cross shape, it had the two aisles,
the transept and the choir added, completed in 1851.
The building is inspired by the ancient Roman basilica.
Its porch resembles that of a Greek temple. The
interior bears the mark of the churches built under the
Restoration: Sainte-Marie-des-Batignolles is a sober,
almost severe church. Fortunately, a flat ceiling with
painted compartments and a superb 19th-century
choir with a magnificent sculpted retable break this
sobriety and embellish the building.
Famous organists in the past: André Messager, Henti
Busser (holders of the former Stoltz organ), Joseph
Bonnet, Joachim Havard de la Montagne.
Messes avec orgue
Saturday at 6 p.m., Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
It was in 1923 that the current instrument was installed
by Charles Mutin. This new instrument was followed by a
small 16-stop Merklin organ installed in the choir and
used transiently, the old great organ having become
unplayable. The great organ Mutin Cavaillé-Coll was
restored by Gloton-Debierre in 1936. In 1947, Beuchet-
Debierre undertook a major restoration and
transformation that led to an inaugural concert by
Maurice Duruflé. From the 1960s on, the instrument
slowly degraded and became completely unusable in
1982. In 1992, after a decade of silence , it was finally
restored by Bernard Dargessies, who added 7 stops.
Note that the small buffet in the center of the railing is
dummy and recalls the presence of an earlier organ.
Text: Thierry Correard