Post by kerouac2 on Nov 6, 2018 18:32:58 GMT
For some inexplicable reason (other than it is amazing), I am a big fan of the architecture of Auguste Perret, who built the strange Tour Perret in Amiens and who rebuilt most of Le Havre after WW2. For some reason, I had never heard of Notre Dame du Raincy in the "medium" suburbs of Paris. Le Raincy is easy to get to from where I live, so I was there in barely more than 30 minutes.
Notre Dame du Raincy was built in 1922 in just over a year. Construction began on 30 April 1922 and was completed on 17 June 1923. Amazing. Financing was a problem due to the law of 1905 separating church and state. The goverment put absolutely no money into the project. Brothers Auguste and Gustave Perret said that they could build the church for 300,000 francs whereas other estimates had been along the order of 1,800,000 francs. They planned to build the church out of reinforced concrete. Most of the parishioners were afraid that the church would just be a cement hangar, but the price was unbeatable.
The whole reason for the church was to honour the victory of the Ourcq during the Great War, because Le Raincy was the town from which many of the "Marne taxis" left to support the French troops. More than 1000 taxis were requisitoned by the military authorities to transport troops to the front and they indeed took about 5000 troops to the Marne battle. Historians have since determined that this was really a very minor percentage of the troops involved and did not really change the outcome of the battle, but the concept of going to war in a taxi stimulated public opinion, and the taxis of the Marne are still famous to this day. So yes, why not build a church to honour the event?
So, here is the church.
The church's website is asking for renovation money because the concrete is crumbling. Since it is a post-1905 church, government funds are not involved. There is netting on the steeple.
Inside it looks fine, of course.
Like the Sainte Chapelle, to which it is regularly compared, it is all windows and no real walls.
Obviously, 20th century stained glass will never be as glorious as the old stuff, but I still though it was pretty good.