Department stores on boulevard Haussmann, Saint-Augustin Church, Saint Lazare Station ... A must-do walk

Of course, everyone knows the historic 172-year-old Saint-Lazare train station, the essential gateway to Normandy’s green pastures. But Saint-Lazare is also synonymous with the very famous department stores on boulevard Haussmann, the Chapelle expiatoire, a neo-classical architectural masterpiece, the Théâtre Mogador and its big popular shows … A huge multifaceted touristic district.

1 Gare Saint Lazare

Gare Saint-Lazare Paris © Thinkstock

Inaugurated in 1837, the Gare Saint-Lazare, close to the Grands Magasins on boulevard Haussmann, was reconstructed between 1842 and 1853, extended between 1886 and 1889, then restored in 1936. This station, which served the western suburbs of Paris, and Normandy, is currently undergoing work to facilitate access, renovate the facade, and redesign the paved square decorated with two original buildings by the sculptor Arman, and incorporate businesses … a town within the town!

2 Chapelle expiatoire

Chapelle Expiatoire, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

Guillotined in 1793, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were hastily buried in the Madeleine cemetery, on the actual site of square Louis XVI. During the Restoration, their remains were exhumed and transferred to the Basilique de Saint-Denis. Louis XVIII erected a funerary chapel, completed in 1826, on the site of their first tomb. Laid out as a Greek cross, it is decorated inside with angels, fleurs-de-lis, an altar in white marble, and a sculpture of Marie-Antoinette soutenue par la Religion, by Cortot.

3 Eglise Saint-Augustin

Eglise Saint Augustin, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

Built between 1860 and 1871, this church is situated at the crossroads of boulevards Haussmann and Malesherbes. The exterior cupola of the church is strongly influenced by Roman and Byzantine styles but inside is a daring metallic structure, the largest of its time.