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The Christian Travelers Guide to France
The Christian Travelers Guide to France


Sample texts from The Christian Travelers Guide to France
By Mark Konnert; Peter & Carine Barrs

See the art of David
slide show.

Links to Websites for places mentioned in
the Christian Travelers
Guide to France



Montauban: has been a Protestant stronghold ever since the Reformation, and in the nineteenth century, The Institut Jean Calvin played a very important role in training pastors during the Protestant Reveil(Revival). Adolph Monod, one of France's great Protestant preachers and theologians taught at the Seminary in Montauban from 1836-1847. The Reveil took place between 1818 and 1840, and as with John Wesley in England, was characterized by a return to the historic theology of Calvin, Luther and the first Reformers. During the the eighteenth century, the Protestant church as well as the Catholic church was deeply influenced by Enlightenment notions of a deist "natural religion" in which Christ ceased to be Savior and Son of God.

The Reveil was engineered by both foreign evangelists, mostly from Britain and Switzerland, and by Frenchmen such as the Monod brothers (Adolph and Frédéric) and Antoine Vermeil. In the tradition of the Désert churches, much of the preaching was done in the open air using portable pulpits. The Reveil met with moderate success but at least had the result of reintroducing Protestantism into areas where it had been completely eradicated by the 100 years of persecutions that followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.


David was the great painter of the French Revolution and Napoleonic era which he portrayed against the background of classical antiquity.

This sequence begins with his Leonidas at Thermopylea. It commemorates the 300 Spartans who died defended the pass of Thermopylea against an army of over 10,000 Persian troops. This heroic action give the Greeks city states enough time to organize their defenses and repulse the Persian invasion.

This is followed by the Death of Socrates. The Oath of the Horatii follows. Both portraying people who preferred death to enslavement.

This first sequence ends with his dramatic death of the Revolutionary leader Marat.

These dramatic pictures, all of which extol revolutionary virtue, are followed by a series depicting the rise of Napoleon from a cavalry officer to Emperor.



Société de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Français (Society for the History of French Protestantism) Just north of St-Germain at 54 rue des Saints-Pères, lies the headquarters of the Société de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Français, founded in 1865. The society runs a library and museum dedicated to the history of French Protestantism, and publishes a scholarly journal dedicated to the subject. It is also responsible for other key sites in the history of French Protestantism: the memorial at WASSY, the Musée du Désert in ANDUZE, the Musée Jean Calvin (John Calvin Museum) in NOYON, and the Huguenot Memorial on Ile Ste-Marguerite in the ILES DES LÉRINS. Fittingly, the motto of the society is "post tenebras, lux:" "After darkness, light."


The Louvre in Paris


Claude Monet
Cathedral at Rouen




The first building to stand on this site was a fortress built by Philip Augustus in 1200 to protect the weakest point in the new walls he had built for the growing city. This was enlarged and converted into a palace by Charles V (1364-80), who preferred its more secure confines after the rebellion of Etienne Marcel. The foundations of this medieval fortress have excavated and can be viewed below the Cour Carrée. In the fifteenth century, kings preferred to reside elsewhere, principally in the Loire valley. Francis I (1515-47), however, embarked on an ambitious building program, which was carried on after his death by Catherine de Medici. This resulted primarily in the construction of the Tuileries Palace, at the far end of the Jardin des Tuileries. Louis XIV, though he destested Paris and preferred Versailles completed construction of the Cour Carrée in a severely neo-classical style. During his reign, and throughout the eighteenth century while the court resided in Versailles, the Louvre was occupied by a ragtag army of artists and squatters. It was to the Tuileries Palace that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were brought back by the crowd of Parisian women in October 1790. In 1792, a mob broke into the palace, causing the king and queen to seek refuge with the revolutionary government, resulting ultimately in the abolition of monarchy and France being declared a republic.

It was during the Revolution, in 1793, that the Louvre was converted into a museum to display the artworks of the royal collections. Both Napoleon I and Napoleon III added extensively to the Louvre, connecting it with the Tuilieries to form a giant enclosed space. During the Commune, the Tuileries was burned to the ground. In the 1980s under President François Mitterand, the Grand Projet du Louvre was undertaken. This was to provide the museum with a much-needed main entrance--the famous glass pyramid designed by the Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei. It also renovated and expanded the exhibition space. In order to achieve this, the offices of the Ministry of Finance were relocated from the north wing. The renovated museum, the largest in the world, was opened by President Mitterand in 1993, 200 years after the museum was first opened to the public. The museum: Louis XVI first envisioned the idea of turning the Louvre into a museum, but it was the Convention in 1793 that actually opened the Grand Gallery to the public. Napoleon made the museum the richest in the world, and though the Allies regained much of what Napoleon had taken, purchases and gifts have since made the Louvre one of the greatest art and ancient civilisation museums (Egypt, Greece, Rome) in the world.

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1-800-727-1309. Members of the press and other news media are invited to request review copies.


© Copyright Irving Hexham 2000