It’s time for me to finish up our little series of Parisian gems. And today I’m keen to share the Basilique Cathédrale de Saint – Denis with you all.
Legend has it that Saint – Denis, the patron saint of France, carried his own head from Montmartre to the site of the cathedral on the northern outskirts of Paris following his decapitation. The gothic cathedral we can now visit was later built in his honour.
The cathedral itself is full of fabulous details – carved stones, ornate doors and beautifully tiled floors make Basilique Cathédrale de Saint – Denis a photographers dream.
From the 10th century, the cathedral became the final resting place of French royalty. As a result, the cathedral is packed with stunning sculptures of the French royals who are buried within the Basilique Cathédrale de Saint – Denis.
Gorgeous statues of well known royals – including those of King Louis the 16th and the fabled Marie – Antoinette – are easily found in the upstairs section of the cathedral, which is beautifully lit thanks to a large rose window.
The crypt is also extremely interesting with names of those buried within the cathedral lining the walls.
You can get to the cathedral via Métro line 13 – Basilique de St-Denis is the most convenient stop. There is a small entry fee to visit the cathedral, and when we visited in early June there were no queues.
If you happen to be visiting the Basilique Cathédrale de Saint – Denis around lunchtime, we can definitely recommend the nearby Restaurant Mets du Roy. Located just opposite the cathedral, the restaurant was packed with locals rather than tourists on the day we visited, yet the staff were happy to make us up a table. The small menu offered tasty choices at reasonable prices and our meal finished off our visit to Saint-Denis perfectly.
Have you visited the Basilique Cathédrale de Saint – Denis? If so, please share your memories in the comments below.
Until next time – au revoir.