The church, in the Les Halles (market) area of Paris, actually had its start in 1223, when in exchange for lending king Philippe Auguste a large amount of money, local merchant Jean Alais was allowed to charge tax on baskets of fish. Amassing a good fortune, he used part of the money to build a chapel. The chapel - named for St. Agnes - received the status of a church and in 1303 it was named in memory of St. EustacHe, a Roman general who was burned at the stake for his conversion to Christianity
St. Eustache has had a number of notable parishioners over the centuries. Louis XIV made his first Communion there; Cardinal Richelieu and Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, the future Madame de Pompadour were baptized at St. Eustache; and Mozart chose the church for the funeral of his mother. In addition, Molière was married at this cathedral.