The NY Times published a delightful article about the many amazing churches, cathedrals and chapels in Paris. There are countless artisitic treasures to be had throughout Paris, without the crowds of Notre Dame and Sacre Couer at Montmatre.
"Paris ordinarily defines itself to visitors as a city of museums, monuments, neighborhoods and shopping-and-eating opportunities. But there is another way into the history, culture and daily fabric of this city's life, a voyage of discovery into a world overlooked even by Parisians themselves: its nearly 100 churches."
"Seeing Paris through its churches — its 'vast symphonies of stone,' to paraphrase one of Victor Hugo's descriptions of his beloved Notre Dame — is to be thunderstruck. The surprises range from the hallucinatory (the intricately carved, lofted arch-screen of the 16th-century St.-Étienne-du-Mont Church (photo above) next to the Panthéon) to the culinary (the basement stone crypt of the 17th-century Polish church Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption that serves as a restaurant offering pickled herring and pork schnitzel."
The article has a mini-lesson in what happened to the Catholic church in France following the French revolution: