Last Updated on 10th August 2018 by Sophie Nadeau
The Armenian Cathedral in Paris can be found if you wander away from the hustle and bustle of the Champs Élysées. Situated in the 8th arrondissement of the city, the cathedral was built at the turn of the 20th-century at the behest of a wealthy Armenian businessman who had spent 450,000 francs on the plot of land where the church now resides.
History of the Armenian Church in Paris
Completed in 1904, the ornately carved church is located on Rue Jean-Goujon. Also known as Cathédrale Arménienne Saint Jean-Baptiste, the closest metro station is Franklin Roosevelt. The first stone was laid in 1902 when Bishop Kévork Utudjia was on site.
The story goes that at the beginning of the 1900s, an Armenian newspaper asked why there was still no Armenian church in Paris. The result? A man by the name of Alexander Mantachiants who had made his money in oil purchased a plot of land in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.
He hired French architect, Albert Désiré Guilbert, in order to design the place. A couple of years previously, Guilbert had designed nearby La Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Consolation. Later on, he went to design the Church of Joan of Arc at Versailles, as well as the covered market of Soissons.
In total, the project of the Armenian cathedral in Paris cost well over 1.5 million francs. Today, the church remains one of the most beautiful buildings in the 8th arrondissement of the city and is well worthy of a look if you’re ever walking through the area.
Visit the Armenian Cathedral in Paris
Today, the ecclesiastical building can be found along Rue-Goujon, not far from the memorial to those who died in a terrible Belle Epoque tragedy, the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Consolation. Other places of interest in the nearby area include Parc Monceau, an 18th-century designated public park complete with follies, as well as Pagoda Paris, a beautiful building which is a break from the normal Haussmannian architecture.