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Ways to Experience Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis
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Reviewed August 30, 2016

Nearest Metro – Saint Denis Basilica – Situated in a fairly unpleasant area it has to be said, this place is, however, a must see. So interesting and what an amazing building, along with the Royal Crypts. 8.50 Euro to get in offered good value for something of such historical significance I thought.

Date of experience: August 2016
1  Thank Thehbk
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 21, 2016

For me, this was one of the highlights in Paris. OK, Saint-Denis is not in central Paris and the area is not exactly the classiest in greater Paris, but the Basilica of Saint-Denis is just beautiful and steeped in so much history. Dating back to 475, the land is incredibly old and the Basilica is where the kings of France have been buried for centuries. Incredibly here lie Marie Antoinette and Catherine de Medici also. A truly fascinating place to visit and learn about the great history of France.

Date of experience: July 2016
2  Thank GumnutPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 14, 2016

Originally a mausoleum for Saint Denis the basilica cathedral of Saint Denis became one of the richest monastic centers in France, acting as a sanctuary for the French monarchy and holding the regalia.

Visitors can discover the monument with the help of a guidebook or an audio guide. I would however warmly recommend the outstanding two hour guided tour, hosted by an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable lady.

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The basilica cathedral is a landmark in architecture :

The western façade (1130) and the chevet (1140) rank among the earliest examples of gothic style. The ornamentation of the portals is considered the founding act of gothic sculpture.

The transept and the nave (1231) mark the culmination of gothic style with flying buttresses, stacked colonnettes, an open triforium and walls replaced by huge stained glass windows.

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The basilica cathedral houses a unique collection of funerary monuments. Some of the numerous highlights :

The funerary monument of king Dagobert reads as a comic book and glorifies the seventh century monarch, wrongly thought to be the founder of the monastery.

The order of Saint Louis (1250) consists of sixteen recumbent statues representing French kings in a same, somewhat repetitive way so as to emphasize the continuity of royal power over various dynasties.

The tomb of Charles V (1364) was the first to be manufactured during the lifetime of the king and to mimic his true to life traits.

The funerary monuments of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne, Francis I and Claude de France and Henry II and Catharina de Medicis are typical of the renaissance and boast two levels. The lower section displays cadavers, a reminder of the fate of the body. The upper section shows the deceased in prayer and full of glory, their souls destined for eternity.

Statues of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette kneeling in prayer were installed in the basilica after the transfer of the ashes of the king (1815).

The princes’ chapel in the crypt houses the hearts of Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XVII and Louis XVIII.

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Hint one :

The area of the basilica cathedral is not too unsafe during daytime. Vinci Basilique offers safe underground parking in the vicinity of the edifice.

Hint two :

Check the website for opening times and guided tours as these vary throughout the week !

Hint three :

Visitors are allowed to take pictures inside the basilica cathedral.

Hint four :

You might consider dressing warm as it is cold inside the basilica cathedral.

Date of experience: August 2016
2  Thank Iweinvanaalst
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed August 10, 2016

Basilica St Denis is France's equivalent of Westminster Abbey, being full of royal remains, some became a little disjointed en route! The one difference is that unlike London WC1, St Denis is a boring trek out from the centre via the NE branch of Metro Line 13. You emerge in a nuclear bunker of a station under a careworn 1970's shopping precinct in one of the more ethnically diverse "banilieues" of Paris. You need to kook out for the signposts but the church is only a few hundred yards/ metres away round a corner. You'll spot the Tourist Office which would do better to stay open throughout the middle of the day, cue Gallic municipal shrug! Once you are inside St Denis soaring gothic interior you then have to exit on the south side for the paypoint to get to the tombs. Most are near the central crossing and aisles outside the choir and some are real works of art that wouldn't be out of place in Rome! The last of the 'Ancien Regime' and the few post revolution monarchs lie under flat black slabs under a low ceiling beneath the choir. Both transepts and the west front have rose windows, the old glass you can get near C12th is in the apse chapels and not easy to photograph. The rest of the crypt where you can stand upright doesn't have much to note. There's no Visitor Centre/ facility to speak of really and the toilets are best avoided, but its the medieval funerary art that makes the trip worthwhile.

Date of experience: July 2016
1  Thank observer2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed July 25, 2016

antic and popular church whose poeple has to se and to visit in his life .The land of the king of france nerest you would feel seeing that old historical church

Date of experience: May 2016
Thank shedahdia
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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