The Paris, France temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been completed. Public tours will be held between April 22 and May 13, 2017. The temple was announced in 2011, however rumors regarding President Gordon B. Hinckley’s work on a prospective temple circulated for more than a decade. Local parties confirmed that land purchase for the temple was a very slow process, inhibited by French regulation and public concerns.
During my visits to Paris beginning more than two decades ago, conversations with Church members always came around to “our temple.” Now it finally exists. The building process was relatively lengthy, though other temples, even in the United States have been equally drawn out (for example, the Meridian, Idaho temple).Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé has played a pivotal role since his call as a General Authority in 2012.
The temple is located within walking distance of the Versailles Palace, west of Paris. By the time of the announcement to build the temple, negotiations were complete with the community and the French government. One of the compromises worked out in the agreement: no Angel Moroni would grace a steeple or tall pillar at the site. Instead, the Church placed a copy of Thorvaldsen’s Christus in the gardens surrounding the temple structure.
Church presence in France is relatively small, with 38,000 members in country. I’ve attended wards in Paris and small branches around France over the years and church growth in France has been relatively small since the first LDS missionaries arrived in 1849. John Taylor and other early leaders worked in France. The temple’s dedication will be a fulfillment of hopes over many years.
At 44,175 square feet, the temple is of moderate size. The Chicago, Ill. temple is 37,000, the Boston temple is 69,000. Columbia, South Carolina is 10,700.Temple archetecture incorporates local features of design.
Art glass and interior elements feature motifs from Monet’s gardens. The two-acre property contains gardens inspired by elements of the Versailles landscapes. Interiors have stone floors and hardwood. The gold chandelier in the celestial room is Swarovski crystal.
The site is located at 46 Boulevard Saint-Antoine, Le Chesnay.
Bravo, Paris Saints.