The city is called Saint Denis because of the Christian martyr and Saint who is buried here. He was martyred in 272, and he is venerated as patron of Paris. Denis was the first bishop of Paris when he was sent from Italy by the Pope Fabian to convert Gaul in the third century. This was after the persecutions under Emperor Decius had all but dissolved the small Christian community at Lutetia (the roman name of Paris). In addition, Denis, irritated the Romans for his many conversions. Finally he, with his inseparable companions Rusticus and Eleutherius, was executed on the highest hill near Paris (Montmartre) by being beheaded by a sword. It's said that after his head was chopped off, Denis picked it up and walked six kilometres preaching a sermon the entire way. The site where he stopped preaching and actually died was made into a small shrine that developed into the current Saint Denis Basilica, which became the burial place for the kings of France. Another version says that his body was thrown in the Seine, but recovered and buried later that night by his converts in the current ground of Saint Denis Basilica.
Fondest memory: La ciudad se llama Saint Denis (San Dionisio) por el martir y santo cristiano que está enterrado aquí. Fue el primer obispo de París en el siglo III cuando fue enviado desde Italia por el Papa Fabián para convertir la Galia. Esto fue en tiempos de las persecuciones del Emperador Decio que consiguió varias cosas, pero no disolver la comunidad cristiana de Lutecia (el nombre romano de París). Además Dionisio irritó a los romanos por la gran cantidad de conversiones que consiguió. Finalmente él, junto a sus inseparables compañeros Rústico y Eleuterio, fue ejecutado en la colina más alta cercana a París (Montmartre), siendo decapitado por una espada. Se dice que una vez se cayó su cabeza, Dionisio la cogió y anduvo seis kilómetros predicando todo el camino. En el lugar donde dejó de predicar y realmente murió se levantó una pequeña capilla, que fue desarrollándose hasta la actual Basílica de Saint Denis, que pasó a ser pronto el lugar de entierro de los reyes de Francia. Otra versión dice que su cuerpo fue arrojado al Sena, pero recuperado por los convertidos más tarde y enterrado en los atuales terrenos de la Basílica de Saint Denis.
Favorite thing: Look at the large mausolea. By far the most elaborate mausoleum is that of Louis XII and Anne of Bretagne, a cooperative work by several Italian artists. The sculptural encasement of a tomb by mourners (“pleurants”;weepers) who symbolize the implied virtues of the deceased was a conceit originated by Claus Sluter at the Chartreuse of Champmol outside of Dijon at the end of the 14C. It migrated to Italy as well. Contemporary with this tomb (16C), Michelangelo was creating them. Here the figures have escaped from the base and are just "hanging out". The original Dijon style was followed here in the tomb of the Ducs d'Orleans with weepers along the base. The “living” praying royal couples (their souls?) are on the roof praying while the dead gisants are on the floor below. Sometimes bronze is substituted for marble or other stone (cost, availability and speed may have been factors). In the structures of Francois I and Louis XII battle scenes in bas-relief are placed at suitable sites. (Significant military victories were of course a virtue).
Favorite thing: if you follow the TV news , it is the most dangerous part of the paris region , riots almost everyday , all kinds of deals , drugs , cocaine, whatever you want , the french government tries unsuccesfully to take back this territory from the mafia ; many young criminals have already been arrested up to 75 times by the police and the judges always let them free with no court , no judgement because, poor things , they are not regarded as criminals, but as victims of capitalism.