Metro : Madeleine
popular place for society weddings, the church of the Madeleine,
southwest of the Opéra, is an obese structure on the classical
temple model. It was originally intended to be yet another monument to
the glory of Napoleon's army. With France's defeat in Russia, however,
the construction of the Madeleine was interrupted, only to be taken up
again by Louis XVIII, who retained the original design of the classical
temple, but decided to convert it into a Catholic church. The single
wide nave is decorated with Ionic columns and surmounted with three
huge domes - the only source of natural light inside.
On the east side of the church in Place de la
Madeleine, a flower market sets up every day excepts Monday, and
there's a luxurious Art-Nouveau loo by the métro at the junction
of place and boulevard de la Madeleine. However, it is for rich
gourmands that the place holds the most appeals. In the northeast
corner, the upmarket delicatessen fauchon tempts you in with its
display of wines, chocolates, marrons glaces and other luxurious foods.
Down the west side, you'll find the smaller Hediard's, selling similar
treats, as well as caviar, truffles and spirits.