This is the Madeleine /madlɛn/, a Catholic church named after Saint Mary Magdalene.
This building, which looks nothing like a church, has a complicated history. It was torn down twice, as constantly shifting objectives made existing designs unacceptable. It was finally decided that it should be a Temple of Glory by Napoléon, but when the Arc de Triomphe was built, that objective no longer made sense. It was then decided to make it a church again, but then it was decided to make it a railway station, until minds changed again and it was once again decided to make it a church (is somebody writing this down?). It finally did become a church in 1842, even though it still looks like a stock exchange.
The building is supposed to look like a Greek temple, and it does. The resemblance to the Parthenon and/or the Maison Carrée (Temple of Diana) in Nîmes is probably more than a coincidence.
Ive been inside once or twice. Its not very interesting.
The street in front of the church is the rue Royale. Behind the camera is the place de la Concorde. On the left, but not visible in the photograph, is Maxims restaurant. In the streets surrounding the Madeleine, there are many fine shops, particularly gourmet shops such as Fauchon. Youre looking north-northeast in this photograph, which was taken around noon.
Click directly on the photo to see a larger version (twice this size). Photographed on July 13, 2008.