Couvent des Jacobins de la rue Saint-Jacques

The Couvent Saint-Jacques,[1] Grand couvent des Jacobins or Couvent des Jacobins de la rue Saint-Jacques[2] was a Dominican monastery on rue Saint-Jacques in Paris. Its complex was between what are now rue Soufflot and rue Cujas. Its teaching activities were the origin of the collège des Jacobins, a college of the historic University of Paris.

Detail of the plan de Turgot showing the monastery church on rue Saint-Jacques, opposite the exit from rue Saint-Étienne-des-Grès (now rue Cujas). In the foreground is the dome of the Sorbonne.


Plan of the couvent des Jacobins de la rue Saint-Jacques, by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. Key - A: church; B: refectory (with the 'parloir aux bourgeois' on the other side of the enclosure) ; D: école Saint-Thomas.

The Dominican order established a base in Paris in 1217 in a house near Notre-Dame.[3] In 1218 Jean Barastre (also known as Jean de Saint-Quentin, theology professor and doctor to Philip II of France) gave the order a house with a chapel near the city walls. This chapel was the chapel of a pilgrims' hospice - dedicated to Saint James the Great, it gave its name to rue Saint-Jacques and to the French Dominicans, who became known as the 'Jacobins' after their main monastery.

Major benefactions from Louis IX of France allowed the order to complete its church and build a dormitory and schools. Although limited by the city wall and in competition with the other great monastery-college in Paris, the Cordeliers, the Dominicans expanded up to the wall of Philip II Augustus thanks to Louis XII of France.

A wealthy merchant named Hennequin gave the order a gift in 1556 which enabled it to rebuild its cloister. Its study room, known as the Écoles Saint-Thomas, was also rebuilt in 1563. A few years before the French Revolution this room was used for services, since the church was closed and in disrepair. The monastery was suppressed in 1790 and its buildings demolished between 1800 and 1849.[4]


Clementia of Hungary, from her effigy, originally in the monastery church.

The monastery church housed many notable tombs.

Royal and princely tombsEdit

Other tombsEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ The Dominicans of the Couvent Saint-Jacques were reestablished in 1849 by father Lacordaire at a new address - they are now based at 20 rue des Tanneries, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris
  2. ^ It was the first of two Dominican monasteries in Paris - the second, of the reformed Dominicans, was the Couvent des Jacobins de la rue Saint-Honoré).
  3. ^ Antony Béraud, Pierre-Joseph-Spiridion Dufey, Dictionnarie historique de Paris', 566. Accessed 2-20-2013
  4. ^ Dictionnarie historique de Paris: contenant la description circonstanciée de ... by Antony Béraud, Pierre-Joseph-Spiridion Dufey, 366, Accessed 2-24-2013
  5. ^ a b c d e f The effigy is now in the Basilica of St Denis.
  6. ^ Her effigy was an upright rather than a horizontal one and is now at Saint-Denis.
  7. ^ Only the faces of their effigies now survive, housed in the Louvre Museum.

Coordinates: 48°50′50″N 2°20′36″E / 48.8472°N 2.3432°E / 48.8472; 2.3432