Église Saint-Roch, is a late Baroque church, dedicated to Saint Roch. It is organized as a series of chapels. One of them is dedicated to Saint Susanna, in memory of the church which used to stand in its place. There is a mural painting above the altar, showing Saint Susanna fleeing her attackers, and looking up to the heavens for the help of God.
In 1521, the tradesman Jean Dinocheau built a chapel on the outskirts of Paris, which he dedicated to Saint Susanna. Over five decades later, his nephew Etienne Dinocheau had it extended into a larger church. In 1629, it became the parish church and thereafter underwent further work.
The first stone of the church of Saint-Roch was laid by Louis XIV in 1653, accompanied by his mother Anne of Austria. Originally designed by Jacques Lemercier, the building’s construction was halted in 1660 and was resumed in 1701 under the direction of architect Jacques Hardouin-Mansart, brother of the better-known Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Work was finally completed in 1754.
At the time of the French Revolution, the church of Saint-Roch was often at the centre of events and was the scene of many shootings which have left their mark on the facade. 13 Vendémiaire was one such occasion, this was pivotal in the rise of Napoleon.
It was not only the outside of the church that was damaged. During the Revolution it was ransacked, and many works of art were stolen or destroyed. Amongst the missing paintings was one of Dinocheau, a generous donor, who built the first church on this spot. His portrait, which used to hang in a side chapel, has been found and is now in Italy, in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Piedmont.