Saint-Sulpice Church was originally built in the Romanesque style in the 13th century. The current building was started in 1646, but not completed until the 18th century . It is the second largest church in Paris (after Notre Dame) its impressive facade was inspired by the frontage of St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Above ground, its organs are well known and there is a gnomon - effectively a giant sun dial - that is used to record the equimoxes and solstices.
The Church became well known after featuring in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, where the gnomon and other features are mis-described as part of the hunt for the Holy Grail.
Beneath ground, the vast crypt covers virtually the same area as the church above. Some of the remains and foundations of the original Romanesque Church can be seen. The crypt was used to store statues during World War II to prevent their damage or loss during air raids. The crypt is open on a regular basis to visitors.