Basilique cathédrale de Saint-Denis
The Basilica Saint Dennis is a Paris touchstone
There is the lore of Saint Dennis the martyr behind Montmartre
The legend tells us of Denis, the bishop of Paris, who offends the wrong people and is beheaded
Which does not deter Denis. He washes-him-self-up in a nearby fountain and sets off on a walk
Where he stops will be the Basillica Saint-Denis, quite a complex
Preferred Burial spot of the French Monarchy
Peter Abelard (of the Abelard and Heloise duo) comes here to join the monestary
During the French Revolution, the tombs of the Kings and Queens of France was an understandable target.
Graves were robbed, the remains thrown into a hole, sprinkled with quick lye (an ossuary)
This is not Notre Dame, a popular tourist spot downtown. Saint-Denis is at the end of a Metro Line. Cold and Old, not popular. There were beggars out front, a sad flea market blocks down, but home of the best baguette I’ve ever had
A Dauphin’s Heart & French Royal Remains at the Basilica of St Denis Notes from the Field (Atlas Obscura)
Our one visit to Saint-Denis took us on a long Metro ride, to the end of the line. Saint Denis is not a prosperous town and we could not find our way. There was a seedy Flea Market, and we eventually found the Basillica St. Denis. At first it appeared decrepit and in disrepair. Everything has a patina. There were no lines of tourists, only a beggar or two.
We finally found the entrance, where they accepted my Museum Pass. There is too much history to absorb. Even the gift shop seemed decrepit, it was a depressing afternoon.
On the positive side. We stopped at a sandwich shop, outside the Basilica, across from the Flea Market. They served us the best ham and cheese baguette, with lots of french mustard.
So much to see in St. Denis
Worth a return visit