Religious Studies Guide

Paris offers numerous sites of religious significance where you can discover the role places of worship have in the community and learn how each site impacts the style of public worship that takes place within them…

Notre Dame

Notre Dame has a rich and fascinating history for you to uncover; in 1909 Joan of Arc was famously beatified in the Notre Dame Cathedral by Pope Pius X. However, it is more than an historic tourist attraction, it’s still an important religious centre and is the official chair ("cathedra") of the Archbishop of Paris, Andre Cardinal Vingt-Trois. Mass is still held at the church three times a day and you are welcome to attend during your visit.


The view from its parvis looks like a perfect Paris postcard; from the musicians performing on the steps to the groups of friends picnicking on the hillside, it’s a quintessential Parisian setting. However for those of you studying religious history, Sacre-Coeur offers so much more. Commissioned in 1875 after the Franco-Prussian War, it’s a symbol of the former struggle between the conservative Catholic old guard and the secular, Republican radicals. Finally consecrated in 1919, Sacre-Coeur set out to build an imposing basilica true to Christian traditions - a significant part of French religion that’s a must-see.


Standing in the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, the Panthéon looks out over all of Paris. Originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, it is now a famous burial place. Like any renowned religious venue, the Panthéon has its own unique story for you to unearth; it was commissioned by Louis XV as a monument to thank god after recovering from ill health and built by Soufflot, who wanted to combine Gothic and classical styles. Visually stunning, the Panthéon is one of the world’s great religious buildings and is definitely worth you taking the time to visit.