Basilique Cathédrale de Saint Denis

Saint Denis is both a Basilica (church dedicated to a christian mystery or saint – in this case Saint Denis) and a Cathedral (lead church of a bishop including his “throne” or “cathedra”).

This is one of the most important churches in France, for two reasons. First, it is the burial site for 43 kings and 23 queens of France including many of the most famous figures of early and medieval french history. Second, this church rebuilt under the guidance of Abbé Sugere, is the first known church in the gothic style. Regular readers might have figured out that I have a “thing” for gothic architecture, so it was amazing to visit Saint Denis to see where it all started. I was struck by how “typical” the church looks, with many of the same features found across other gothic cathedrals, even though this was a pioneering design. I guess you can’t really improve on perfection 💙.

Unfortunately the galeries hosting the royal tombs were closed, but we were able to catch a glimpse of some through the barriers.

You can find out more about the Cathedral here.


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