Definitive guide

Église de la Madeleine

La Madeleine Church is one of Paris’ most famous and important Neoclassical monuments.

The Église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, or just La Madeleine, is a Catholic church in central Paris, famous for its Neoclassical design.

The Église de la Madeleine is a popular stop along the routes taken by Paris hop-on hop-off buses. We recommend getting a tour with one of the two most well-known companies, Tootbus or Big Bus .

Interior of the Église de la Madeleine church in Paris
Interior of the Église de la Madeleine church in Paris. Author: Joe deSousa. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The building had somewhat of a long-winded history, having been redesigned and partially taken down twice. The Madeleine church, whose construction had started in 1763, was finally inaugurated in 1842, on the day of Saint Mary-Magdalene.

The Church of Saint-Marie-Madeleine is surrounded on all four sides by Corinthian-style columns, in keeping with the Neoclassical design wanted by Napoleon Bonaparte. The 52 columns imitate the exterior of a temple in ancient Greece or Rome, while the pediment represents the Christian subject of the Last Judgement.

Even with all its rich details, the exterior remains pristine and bright, while the inside is dimly lit by the circular skylights. The walls, arches, and ceilings, covered in coloured marble and frescoes, are all decorated with scenes and geometric shapes, with additional gilded details.

The church has a long-standing association with music and musicians, especially thanks to its precious 1845 pipe organ.


Place de la Madeleine, 8th arrondissement.


Entry to the Madeleine church in Paris is free of charge.


Every day
Days Opening time Last admission
Every day 9:30 am 7:00 pm


Paris hop-on hop-off buses all stop by the Église de la Madeleine. The most recommendable and popular of these bus companies are Big Bus and Tootbus. You can get a Tootbus hop-on hop-off bus tour here or book a Big Bus tour here .

Otherwise, you can always take public transport, using the following lines.

Method Métro Bus RER
Lines 8, 12, 14 42, 45, 52, 84, 94 A
Stops Madeleine - Auber

Nearby sights

Chapelle expiatoire - 450 m (almost 0.3 miles), 6-minute walk.

Place de la Concorde - 500 m (0.3 miles) south, 7-minute walk.

Jardin des Champs-Élysées - 500 m (0.3 miles), 6-minute walk.

Place Vendôme - 600 m (almost 0.4 miles) east, 8-minute walk.

Palais Garnier - 700 m (a little over 0.4 miles) northeast, 9-minute walk.

Musée de l’Orangerie - 800 m (0.5 miles), 10-minute walk.

Author: 1 Interior of the Église de la Madeleine church in Paris. Author: Joe deSousa. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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Église de la Madeleine