Saint Denis basilica, tomb of Francis I. Necropolis of the French Kings, birthplace of 'gothic' architecture, nearly 1,500 years of history in one place. Photo © Art Journey Paris.
North of Paris hides a forgotten treasure; a monument where one can almost rub shoulders with the Kings of France, a place with nearly 1500 years of history, from being one of the first churches of France to the burial place of most French Kings, and the birthplace of "gothic" architecture.
From the first King of France, Clovis, to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, most of French history is buried, carved or in the architecture of Saint Denis Basilica. And its importance goes far beyond France : where else can one find over forty former rulers in one place? Neither in Egypt nor in countries that still have Kings and Queens.
Saint Denis Basilica therefore is a truly unique monument, the layers of time visible in the monument, the three dynasties of French rulers, the Revolution and the destructions that ensued. And that is not all, as on top of such amazing historical value, is the artistic one.
Built and rebuilt many times, Saint Denis basilica is where the pursuit of light and 'Gothic' architecture was invented, when walls become thin and open to reveal divine light through stained glass, making immense stone constructions appearing to be weightless.
The regalia of France, the crown, sword and accessories necessary to be crowned King were stored there, with other great treasures of medieval France. Saint Denis basilica is nearly 1500 years of French history, from the first King of France, Clovis, to Charlemagne to Louis XVI… Let's open the door to history with our Saint Denis basilica private tour.
Face to face with the Kings of France and history. "Gisant" of King Henry II. Photo © Art Journey Paris.
Saint Denis basilica, the birthplace of the architecture of light. Photo © Art Journey Paris.
The Basilica is open every day from 10 am till 5 pm in winter or 6 pm in summer.
So much history in one place can only astonish and create a yearning to discover more medieval treasures. They can be seen at the Louvre with our Louvre private tour, including the rare surviving pieces of Saint Denis regalia's treasure, or with other masterpieces of the Middle Ages with our Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame visit, and private tour of the Cluny medieval art museum.
Entrance tickets are extra, and we need advance notice to request a reservation time for the Basilica. Transport is not included but it is easy to go to Saint Denis basilica, either by metro, with a stop around the corner, or by booking a taxi.
Photo tours of the medieval monuments of Paris - We can also combine a photographic tour of the masterpieces of medieval architecture with our private tour of Saint Denis basilica. To give you an idea of the sites and photos that can be taken, please visit either our Art Journey Flickr, or our Instagram.
Photo tours are open to beginners as well as advanced photographers, from a crash course into the basics of photography technique to composition, that is working on the art of seeing. Please ask in advance about taking photos at Saint Denis basilica..
To inquire about a private tour, please mention the date of the visit as well as the number of participants, using the form below, thank you.