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“Worth a look if you love history”

Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis
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Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis Tour including Necropolis of the Kings of...
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Saint-Denis
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Owner description: The earliest masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, a royal abbey and major pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages, the Basilica Cathedral assumed its principal role as the burial place for the kings of France as early as the 6th century. Despite being ransacked during the Revolution, the basilica houses over seventy royal tombs including those of Dagobert, François I, Catherine de Medicis and Louis XVI. Open:> 1st April to 30th September: Monday to Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 6.15 p.m. ; Sunday: from noon to 6.15 p.m.> 1st October to 31st March: Monday to Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 5.15 p.m. ; Sunday: from noon to 5.15 p.m. Last admission 30 minutes before closing time. Closed:> 1st January, 1st May and 25th December.> During some masses. Admission fees: Adults : 7,5€; Concessions (18 to 25) = 4,50 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Worth a look if you love history”
Reviewed November 21, 2010

Our main reason for visiting was to see Marie Antionette's grave & we expected to stay for a short visit. Instead my 11 year old daughter and I stayed hours! We caught the metro from central Paris & it takes about 30 minutes to arrive. You can tell you are going to a poorer area and lots of migrants were on the train but we felt safe in the middle of the day. Not so sure I'd want to visit after dark! We had no idea where to go when we got to the station at Saint Denis but after walking out of the metro & around the corner, found the basilica right in front of us. It was wonderful to see the place virtually empty. No gypsies or Nigerian's ready to scam the tourists, it was just us and the locals.
The basilica is quite breathtaking from the inside and out. I enjoyed it more than Notre Dame. It cost me around 6 euro to enter the crypt & back of the church, my daughter was free. You can hire audio guides or small signs around the church give you a fair idea of what you are looking at. I was expecting maybe 10 or so mortuary displays but there are easily 100. Just about every king, queen or royal in France is buried here and history oozes from the walls. The stained glass windows are also magnificent. The crypt is creepy but interesting and there was a special exhibit on downstairs while we were there on Henry of Navarre. There is a small church shop and theatrette and also clean toilets as you exit. The best part of this place is the lack of tourists, we virtually had the place to ourselves and could take hundreds of photos without annoying the regular church goers.

8 Thank Apollogirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level Contributor
191 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“A must for architecture and history enthusiasts”
Reviewed September 28, 2010

I have been reading and watching films about this building for 50 years and a trip to Paris provided the opportunity to visit. It is actually a sepearte town way north of Paris and is now in a poor immigrant area so if North Africans are a problem for you don't go.
To cut to the quick this Basilica, now a Cathedral, is the birthplace of the European gothic style and as a bonus they have gathered the reclining statues of most of the kings and queens of France from the last 1500 years in one place. There are bits of a 4thC crypt and recent excavations for the Metro dug up hundreds of columns etc from a medieval cloister.
Well worth a Metro trip from Central Paris.

1 Thank christy21040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
184 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Hidden gem of Paris”
Reviewed July 21, 2010

It's been my long awaited dream to visit this necropolis of French Kings, and it did not disappoint. Amazing architecture, and more amazing the amount of history inside. Each grave has such amazing work, and headstones. It's a few subway stops from the center, so even in July it wasn't crowded or hot. And the crypt below was actually pretty chilly. Recommend it to anyone, especially history buffs.

2 Thank russian33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The beginnings of Gothic architecture and the tombs of (almost all) French kings”
Reviewed April 6, 2010

The former abbey of St. Denis (now a basilica) is an easy subway ride and well worth the trip. There are almost two thousand continuous years of history represented in the abbey, which was once one of the most important in Europe. St. Denis was buried here in the third century, and around his tomb grew up an abbey that was a major pilgrimage site in the middle ages, the burial place of French kings since the 7th century, and one of the most beautiful churches in France. Under Abbe Suger, the church was rebuilt in the nascent Gothic style, with rose windows, pointed arches, and beautiful stained glass.

4 Thank Gl0beExpl0rer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A must for a history buff!”
Reviewed April 4, 2010

Great short trip! It is an easy metro ride to this wonderful church. The monarchs are buried here and their tombs are wonderful! I thought it was in a very safe area, but I had heard differently. Check it out, the church is wonderful as well. Bonus.... no crowds!

1 Thank Jeremy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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