Ma fille Holly and I have stayed in the same hotel (and same room) for many trips to Paris, and Saint-Nicholas du Chardonnet as shown in the photo below this text is the primary view from our window over rue des Bernardins. Although the photos I took in June this year show few people, the church we have watched over the years is an active, vibrant church in the 5th arrondisement. When the bells ring on Saturday at 6pm and again on Sunday morning, the street in front of the church is busy with multi-generational families and people of all ages coming and going.
From the exterior, the church is attractive but not singularly stunning. I have found that you must enter a church to know what might be inside, that a very plain building may hide a beautiful interior. St-Nicholas has a very warm feel and is well cared for by its parishioners. The 18th century organ has an exquisite sound and the crystal chandeliers just sparkle. I will bring you here again in December to tell you (photos too) about singing in the streets of the 5th arr.
As a tourist one may appreciate the aesthetic beauty of a place, but as with many Parisian sites there may be historical drama and controversy.