Sunday, 29 September 2013

Church on Sunday...Basilica Saint Denis

As I am in Paris today, my church is the Basilica of St Denis, actually located in St Denis (today a suburb of Paris) which is said to be first structure built in Gothic style - who says? good old wikipedia of course.

The basilica of today dates from the middle of the 12th century when an earlier 8th century church was rebuilt by one Abbot Suger - a very influential figure during this time in France's history. The Basilica of St Denis is the burial place of most French kings from the 10th to the 18th century - giving it more kudos than even Notre Dame, which gets much greater visitor numbers.

Part of the reason for this might be the 45 min metro ride from the centre of Paris...but I can assure you its worth it.

Although most of the stained glass is 19th century it doesn't lessen the effect... 


Although entry to the basilica is free you have to pay to visit the choir and crypt.

The crypt contains the original location of the tomb of Saint Denis- the patron saint of France. 

Plus the 'The Bourbon Grave' which claims to contain the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

Some fine pillar detail from within the crypt.

It's within the choir that you find the tombs and effigies of many of the royal families of France for a period of around 1000 years, from Clovis and Charlemagne to Henri II, Catherine Medici, Louis XIV, as well as Louis XVI and are some examples.

Fascinating place...well worth a visit...thought they may have claimed to have recovered Joan's ashes (now that would have taken a bit of sorting out) but she doesn't get a look in!

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