Today we spent our morning at the Basilica of Saint Denis. According to the information flyer we got, “The basilica stands on the site of a Gallo-Roman cemetery with the tomb of Saint Denis, thought to have been the first Bishop of Paris, who was martyred circa 250 AD.”
The basilica has over 70 recumbent statues and tombs of French monarchs, including 42 kings beginning with Hugues Capet, 32 queens, 63 princes and princesses and 10 influential male figures.
This basilica (now a cathedral) is considered to be one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture in France.
Saint Denis is said to have picked his head up after being decapitated, walked ten kilometres (six miles), and preached a sermon the entire way, which is why he is always shown holding his head.
Unfortunately, the basilica is under renovation so most of it is obscured behind ugly scaffolding, so we could not get a look at the entire structure outside, but we are still very glad we went.