Preserve Saint Germain

Welcome to the online press kit for Preserve Saint Germain

Saving the Oldest Church in Paris

Restoring a Landmark to Last Through the Ages

American Friends for the Preservation of Saint Germain des Prés is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to fund the restoration of Paris' oldest church, garnering donations in the pursuit of preserving history.

The organization’s mission is to foster an appreciation for French culture and arts among the public in the United States. It will achieve this, in part, by participating in the restoration of the Church of Saint Germain des Prés so it may continue to serve its parishioners and welcome the nearly 700,000 visitors each year from all over the world who come to see and be inspired by its unparalleled beauty.

Saint Germain des Prés' history and beauty touch the lives of Parisians and Americans alike. America’s passion for this monument's eclectic and rich heritage made the formation of the foundation possible.

The Church

The Church of Saint Germain des Prés—the building and its artwork—reflects many eras of French history, art and culture. As the oldest church in Paris, it has influenced and shaped people, places and ideas throughout history, including the famous philosopher Descartes, and Sorbonne students and teachers.

Its architecture is a fascinating compilation of styles, from Romanesque arches and capitals to Gothic elements in the nave and choir.

Walking through this house of worship is like taking a journey to the past. Witness centuries-old art depicting historical and religious figures, intricately decorated capitals portraying aspects of the Old and New Testaments, plants and animals, and even monastic life. Most notable are the vast mural works painted by Hippolyte Flandrin in the 19th century.

Every aspect of the church itself is a testament to French culture and history. Unfortunately, it must contend with the ravages of time, and the overall condition of the church has deteriorated steadily throughout the centuries. Determined to halt this deterioration, the American Friends for the Preservation of Saint Germain des Prés are generating funds to restore and preserve this unique historical monument.

Adopt a Saint Germain Star™

The Adopt a Saint Germain Star™ campaign is a fundraising effort to garner funds for a multi-year, multi-tranche restoration of the church’s art, windows, stonework and structural integrity. Donors may go online today and adopt one or more of the hundreds of stars in the church’s ancient, vaulted ceiling. The Adopt a Saint Germain Star™ campaign mirrors a similar, highly successful campaign already underway in France. The entire Monk's Choir was recently and magnificently completed in large part due to the generosity of private donors in France and the United States, and two Adopt a Star campaigns.

The challenge now is to fund Restoration Tranches 2 through 5. There are more than 800 stars currently available and donations will directly impact the preservation of this historic structure and its beautiful celestial ceiling. American Friends for the Preservation of Saint Germain des Prés’ need is to fund the restoration of the Transept (2017) and the Nave (2018), including their ceilings, which show a total of 3,000 additional stars.

Together we can, and will, breathe new life into this emblematic heritage site. American Friends for the Preservation of Saint Germain des Prés is essential to preserving Saint Germain des Prés for generations to come.

Through the public’s generosity, we will ensure the survival of this ancient church structure in the heart of Paris.

VIDEO: Let's Rekindle the Stars of Saint Germain des Près.

PRESS RELEASE (November 7, 2017): Non-profit American Friends for the Preservation of Saint Germain des Prés Aims to Save Oldest Church in Paris
PRESS RELEASE 11/17/2021 Progress on Restoration of Paris's Oldest Church Revealed

Download a One Pager for American Friends for the Preservation of Saint Germain des Prés.

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