The Expiatoire chapel is located at 29 rue Pasquier, in the 8th arrondissement of the capital.
It was built from 1815 to 1826 on the site of the former Madeleine cemetery where King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were first buried in 1793 after being guillotined. Their remains were later transferred to the Basilica of St. Denis in 1815.
It was King Louis XVIII who commissioned the work of this memorial to architect Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine, who was assisted by his pupil Louis-Hippolyte Bas.
Classified since 1914, the late neoclassical building includes a closed enclosure with gate that gives access to an esplanade framed by cloister galleries, and at the bottom of which a portico allows to enter the chapel itself. In the shape of a Greek cross, it is surmounted by a cupola resting on pendants and half-cupolas supported by vaults in cul-de-four decorated with oculus. These are the only openings in the chapel which benefits from a singular natural lighting.
A black and white marble altar symbolizes the exact place where Louis XVI was buried, bas-reliefs and sculptures depicting the king and queen being also visible in the chapel.
Since 1862, a park has been built around the monument, which later became the Louis XVI square. It is in itself a green space synonymous with serenity in this district of Paris.
Now a national monument, the site is only open to worship on January 21 at Masses commemorating the death of the King.
During the year, temporary exhibitions are hosted, included in the visit itinerary.
Open Tuesday to Saturday from April to September, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from October to March. Price: 5 and 8 euros. Information on +33 1 42 65 35 80.