The church was inaugurated on July 24, 1842, the day of Ste Mary-Magdalene, but was officially dedicated on October 9, 1845 by His Lordship Affre, Archbishop of Paris.
In 1777, while foundations were already done, Contant d'Ivry died and was replaced by his pupil Guillaume-Martin Couture, who changed the design to a Greek cross-shaped church with a widened dome and a portico decorated with Corinthian order.
Design is similar to the one of the Palais Brongniart, house of Paris stock exchange.
First project designed by Pierre Contant d'Ivry planned a Latin cross-shaped church topped with a small dome.
In 1816, after the fall of Napoléon, King Louis XVIII decided that the building would be used as a church dedicated to Mary Magdalene (Marie-Madeleine in French). While construction was underway, Vignon died and was replaced by Jean-Jacques-Marie Huvé, who achieved the project in 1842.
Main entrance facing Rue Royale features two giant bronze doors installed in 1841, even larger than St. Peter's Basilica's ones.
La Madeleine's outside features 25 Corinthian columns, each 20 metres high, carrying around the entire building.
In 1791, after the French Revolution, works were stopped until 1807. Only the giant columns had been built.
In 1806, Napoléon decided to erect a temple to the glory of the French Army, and selected Pierre-Alexandre Vignon's project. Existing foundations were demolished but the Corinthian columns were preserved and integrated into the new antic temple-like structure.
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