Saint Genevieve is the patroness and protectress of Paris. The bright image of the patroness is reproduced in the sculpture of the famous Paul Landowsky, erected on the Tournel Bridge (Statue de Sainte Genevieve). Another statue adorns the Luxembourg Gardens.
Monument on the Bridge Tunnel
The Turnel Bridge, connecting the left bank of the Seine with the island of St. Louis, is the place where a magnificent marble statue of the patron saint Genevieve was erected on a pylon 14 meters high. The western side of the statue is connected to the bridge by two supporting buttresses. The height of the sculpture is 5,4 meters.
The sculpture is depicted in the form of a woman in a long light robe with her head covered, whose hands are held by the shoulders of the child in front. A child presses a ship to his chest, a symbol of the French capital. The sculptural composition designates the role of Genevieve as the guardian of the city and material wealth, but also human souls.
The position of the sculpture and the place of installation are not accidental and are of a historical nature. In the 9th century, Paris was besieged by the Normans. Remembering the legend of how Genevieve saved Paris during the invasion from the east of Attila with the Horde of the Huns, the inhabitants, in order to get rid of the robbers, brought an ark with the relics of the saint to the arrow of the island of Cité. After 10 months, the conquerors left their positions, and the city remained safe and sound.
According to the sculptor, the statue was to be turned towards the Notre Dame Cathedral in order to welcome guests who arrived in the capital. But the inhabitants of the city insisted that the statue be deployed to the east. After lengthy negotiations, the artist had to give in.
Subsequently, the sculptor laments for a long time, calling his work unsuccessful, and the monument - "a terrible pillar with poor Saint Genevieve."
Paul Landowski refused to attend the opening ceremony of the Genevieve Monument, which took place on 27 on August 1928.
Exposition in the Luxembourg Gardens
In the Luxembourg Gardens, in addition to attractions such as the Maria Medici Palace and fountains, 106 sculptures are installed. 20 statues are dedicated to queens and famous women. One of them is the marble image of Genevieve.
In the garden, the sculptor’s architectural plan is embodied in the form of a statue of a young beautiful maiden in a spacious dress. Her face is framed by hair, woven into long tight braids. The head slightly bent to the side, a wide scarf falls on the shoulders. Hands gracefully folded at the waist one on top of the other.
Address: Pont de la Tournelle, Paris 75004
Metro: Cardinal Lemoine, Jussieu
RER Train: Luxembourg
Bus: Pont de la Tournelle / Cardinal Lemoine