My VT friend yooperprof mentioned that I should make the long metro ride out to St. Denis to see the Basilica and I'm glad that he did.
The Basilica can be reached by taking the metro to the St. Denis basilica metro stop, I didn't actually time the journey from central Paris but I imagine it was around a 30-40 minute trip.
Entry to main part of the Basilica is free, entry to the crypts and tombs was included on the museum pass .
2 rue de Strasbourg, Place de l'Hýtel-de-Ville, St-Denis. A short mýtro ride outside the Periphique (city limits) is the Basilica of St-Denis, a definite site for a history buff. The cathedral includes the tombs of major historical figures from Charlemagne to Marie Antoinette and close to everyone inbetween.
If you go on a Sunday, across the plaza is a very interesting and bustling marketplace.
Saint-Denis is a town of 87,000 inhabitants just outside Paris. Just like everything there, it has an ancient and a modern side. The former is best represented by the basilique de Saint-Denis, the latter by the famous Stade de France, the Parisian football stadium.
My parents and I visited only the church. This basilica is the place where all French kings and queens used to be crowned and as a matter of facts, its main attraction, beside all the Gothic architectural features, are the tombs of the royals.
I will not write much in this tip; you will find more explanations and photos in my Saint-Denis page (to come).
When I was researching what to see and do in Paris, I came across the Basilica of Saint Denis near Paris. I read it was the burial site of French monarchs, which makes it comparable to Westminster Abbey in England, and there was a collection of 70 sculpted recumbent statues - the only set of its kind in Europe, I was sold, I had to go there.
So off we went on the Metro to St. Denis, easy to get to, and well worth the trip.
I will write all about it on my SAINT DENIS
April to 30 September : 10 am to 6:15 pm, Sundays 12 to 6:15 pm
1 October to 31 March : 10 am to 5 pm, Sundays 12 to 5:15 pm
Adult rate: 7,50 €
Reduced rate: € 4.50
Adult group rate: 6 € (minimum 20 persons)
HOW TO REACH ST. DENIS
Metro: line 13, Basilica of Saint-Denis (recommended)
RER line D and
Tram line T1
1 rue de la Legion-d'Honneur, St. Denis
The interior of the Basilica is filled with tombs and monuments to French royalty, it is the burial site of virtually all French monarchs since Clovis I (465-511) up through Louis XVIII (1755-1824).
Picture 1 is the most photographed of the monuments, it is of Louis XVI and Marie Antoniette who were the reigning king and queen at the time of the French Revolution. They were not originally buried in the basilica but moved there later on.
Picture 2 is the tomb of Louis VXIII, the last king to be buried at St. Denis.
Picture 3 is the tomb of three generations-Louis, duc d'Orleans (father of Charles duc d'Orleans), Charles, duc d'Orleans (father of Louis XII), Valentine Visconti, duchesse d'Orleans (Louis duc d'Orleans' wife) and Philippe, comte de Vertus (son of Louis and Valentine).
Located just north of the City of Paris, Saint Denis contains one of the most important Gothic cathedrals in France: Basilique Saint-Denis. The Basilica-Cathedral is considered the first purely Gothic church ever built, one whose construction influenced religious architecture all over Europe. It is also the burial place for most of France's royals from the 7th to the 18th centuries, among them François 1er, Louis XIV and Marie-Antoinette. Although the town of Saint Denis was once completely separate from Paris, it has become one of many suburbs absorbed by the large agglomeration as urbanisation expanded. In recent decades, Saint Denis has been plagued with problems due to its high - and badly marginalised - immigrant population. As a result, the town offers little other than a few important historic sights, ones that are well-worth the detour. Saint Denis is a mere 15 minute metro ride from the centre of Paris on Metro (line 13) or RER D.
For more detailed information, take a look at the separate Saint Denis page.
Well off the beaten track. St Denis is a municipality just north of Paris proper, but still part of the metropolitan area. It’s almost at the end of the Métro system.
It’s not (ahem) the wealthiest of suburbs. I wouldn’t take a trip out there after dark.
D wanted to see the cathedral, as it’s the last resting place of many French kings & queens. All but 3 of them, in fact. Wikipedia lists them - pretty impressive collection.
Well worth the trip if that’s your line of interest. It cost €7.50 per adult for entry into the “necropolis”, but the church itself is free. Construction started in 1135 - yes, a real historic monument!
It’s on Métro line 13, and the church is just around the corner from the station of the same name
1, rue de la Légion d’Honneur
tél : 01 48 09 83 54
The Basilica of St. Denis was the burial place of the French monarchs. It is located in Saint Denis, a suburb of Paris, easily accessible by the metro. It is well worth a visit, if not for the architecture, than for a chance to see the rather unusal tombs and artifacts scattered around the basilica.
Basilique de Saint Denis, in the Saint Denis suburb. A beutiful historic curch with great stained glass windows.