La Madeleine church in Paris is one of the most striking building in the entire Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Rumour has it that it was built in order to mirror the Palais Bourbon – which houses the French National Assembly - on the opposite bank of the Seine river in order to create harmony between the clergy and the republic.
But in reality, La Madeleine was designed as a temple to Napoleon’s army and its glorious victories back in the early 1800s – which would certainly help explain why the church doesn’t actually look like a church (it doesn’t have a spire or bell-tower) but rather a lavish Greek temple. It was completed in 1828 and built in the Neo-Classical style and was inspired by an exceptionally well preserved Roman temple named Maison carrée in Nîmes; it now dominates the entire Faubourg Saint-Honoré, with its 52 20-meters high Corinthian columns.
La Madeleine is located on Place de la Madeleine in Paris. It is not advised to get to La Madeleine house by car as parking is scarce and complicated; instead, Madeleine métro station is located right next to the church and is serviced by lines 8, 12, and 14. The church is open every day from 9:30am to 7pm and religious service is scheduled at 12:30 from Monday to Friday, and at 9:30am on Sundays.