Notre Dame du Travail in Paris
I’d promised my friend Heide that I would publish something about Notre Dame du Travail, that 1900 church with a metal structure (some of the workers who went to pray here had worked on the Eiffel Tower) in the 14th district of Paris.
I went through all my files of the past 6 years in order to find pictures of that church, most of them taken during concerts.
Not quite Jericho, but not that far either. The organ is modern though.
Pillars and all the overall structure of the building is made of metal.
The crowd was dense on that day for a concert dedicated to Saint Saëns’s beautiful requiem.
Here one catches a good glimpse of the building.
Two members of the Darius Milhaud Choir.
As the church has upstairs galleries, pictures from above are possible. They often give a different perspective.
More of the same
Martin Barral is the conductor of the Orsay Philharmonic Orchestra. A nice bouncing chap whose every somersaults I track with my camera (not showing on this picture).
With a short focal lens, one gets a feeling of the size of the building. The galleries on top are visible from this point too.
The building is equipped with very narrow, dust-smelling staircases which look a bit eerie.
One can peak a head outside and catch a glimpse of Ricardo Bofill’s council estate buildings Place de Catalogne.
The pillars change colour when the lights are switched on.
It’s a beautiful church and it’s said to be very good in terms of acoustics. Many discs have been recorded in this place because of this. Well, there you have Heide, I hope you enjoyed this!
I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this, Yann — LOVED IT would be more accurate! It’s even more beautiful and fascinating than I imagined. It has shot up to the top of my “must see” list for my next visit (even if I suspect I will be disappointed in my photos when I compare them to yours after the fact). Thank you so much for taking the time to post this, Yann. It truly is a pleasure to see Paris vicariously through your eyes.
Thank you kindly for your nice comments, my photography is getting better but is nowhere near perfection, I’m sure you can beat me to it. See you soon.
I’d never even heard of this church or its story. Definitely on our ‘must visit’ list now.
Thanks for your comment, Margaret, definitely a different kind of church. Note that there a many buildings from that period — including churches — over here, like St Augustin (by Baltard, a little before that, more like 2nd French empire period https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Augustin,_Paris)
One question, when I was taking pictures at concerts I was always required to use my TLR as the noise from the shutter or mirror on SLRs could distract the musicians. How did you manage the above with the musicians and choir? My newest camera has no “Silent” mode, just a deliberate fake shutter type noise.
Lovely photos and a great story. As I probably will never get back to Paris, it is enjoyable to see new things, or things I did not see while I was there.
This is a good point you are making here. I own a few Nikons (D7000, D600 and D810) and although their shutter noises are all a wee bit different they are all pretty noisy. There is a so-called quiet mode on the D810 (and all the others) https://www.richardpeters.co.uk/nikon-d810-a-super-quiet-powerhouse/ but to be honest, I’m not crazy about it. When quietness is of the essence I turn it on, but I don’t like it that much because it tends to generate a lag of a split second which I find very annoying and besides, I can still hear the noise.
Maybe using a full digital camera like a Sony https://www.thephoblographer.com/2017/07/11/5-incredible-cameras-with-deceivingly-quiet-shutters-for-candid-photography/ would help.
My trick is to wait for the orchestra to go full blast and then I press the shutter button which goes more or less unnoticed. Besides, I keep gadding about in the Church so that I don’t stay at any one place all the time and avoid annoying listeners too much.
Thanks for your kind comments on the pictures. Much appreciated.
Last but not least, TLR sounds nice. You can turn some of these into digital cameras but it will cost you a packet and besides there is not much point for it (a D810 produces pictures approx. half the size of a TLR). You may always use your TLR and scan your pictures after development but it all sounds like a complicated process to me and a bit of a hammer to crack a nut.