Stephanie Bower

Stephanie Bower | Architectural Illustration: | Sketching Workshops: | Sketches: on Instagram at @stephanieabower & | Urban Sketchers Blog Correspondent | Signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My favorite church, Saint Eustache

This was probably my favorite church in Paris--so noble, usually few people inside, and it feels very real somehow.  Saint Eustache is near Les Halles, which is basically a big construction site, so it was hard to get a good view of the exterior.  It was built between 1532-1632 and is a great example of high gothic architecture.  According to Wikipedia, Mozart chose this location for his mother's funeral, Louis XIV had communion here, and Moliere was baptized and married amidst this stone.

I went to sketch it on one of the really HOT days in Paris hoping it would be cool inside, but I happened to get there 10 minutes before closing.  Darn.  I did make it back several days later, as I was determined to do a sketch here before leaving France.

This particular day, I walked in and discovered organ music filling the cavernous space.  It seems there was a woman giving lessons, as several students were lined up waiting for their turn on the giant organ. What a sense of power it must be to press the keys and have that glorious sound fill such a huge church!  It was magical to sit and sketch while listening to this music.

The top of this sketch is literally the pipe organ directly above my head.  The ceiling was particularly hard to draw...I wish my sketch did justice to this magnificent building.

Paris. Saint Eustache...large image so you can see the detail.


  1. I completely agree with you Stephanie. I recently recommended some friends visiting Paris not to miss it. Unlike Nôtre Dame or la Sainte Chapelle always filled with hordes of tourists Saint Eustache gets few visitors but is a fine example of gothic architecture. I also happened to be there while the organist was rehearsing and it was a wonderful experience.

    1. Hola Patricia--so glad you got to hear the organ play too! I know you wanted to hear music in that space, and it was indeed wonderful! I have such fond memories of Saint Eustache...

  2. I think your sketch most definitely did the interior justice! It is a beautiful drawing and one does get the sense of the enormity of the space, and the complexity of the ceiling!

    1. Hi E,
      thank you so much for this comment! It was indeed a huge space, and the shape of the central arch was really flat--actually very hard to draw. Thank you for checking out my blog!