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Overlooked Basilica of St. Denis is French Westminster Abbey

The Basilica of St. Denis was the first Gothic church when completed in 1144; it is the necropolis for most of the kings of France

The Basilica of St. Denis was the first Gothic church when completed in 1144; it is the necropolis for most of the kings of France

Buried at the Basilica are 42 kings, 32 queens, 63 princes and princesses and 10 men of the kingdom; it would be a perfect location for a French history exam

Buried at the Basilica are 42 kings, 32 queens, 63 princes and princesses and 10 men of the kingdom; it would be a perfect location for a French history exam

King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were the last monarchs before the French Revolution; in 1792 the monarchy was abolished and Marie Antoinette was guillotined in 1793

King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were the last monarchs before the French Revolution; in 1792 the monarchy was abolished and Marie Antoinette was guillotined in 1793

Tomb of Dagobert I who was King of the Franks from 629-634; Dagobert was the first of the Frankish kings to be buried at St. Denis

Tomb of Dagobert I who was King of the Franks from 629-634; Dagobert was the first of the Frankish kings to be buried at St. Denis

The north rose window is a stone structure 14  meters across, showing the Tree of Jesse, which supposedly served as a model for the one in Notre Dame

The north rose window is a stone structure 14+ meters across, showing the Tree of Jesse, which supposedly served as a model for the one in Notre Dame

Tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Medici, often called the most powerful woman from the 16th century; Henry largely ignored Catherine and spent most of his time and money on his mistress

Tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Medici, often called the most powerful woman from the 16th century; Henry largely ignored Catherine and spent most of his time and money on his mistress

The Basilica is 108 meters long and 38 meters wide; both stylistically and structurally, the Basilica heralded the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture

The Basilica is 108 meters long and 38 meters wide; both stylistically and structurally, the Basilica heralded the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture

Tympanum and lintel of the central portal, showing Last Judgement iconography, completed in 1135

Tympanum and lintel of the central portal, showing Last Judgement iconography, completed in 1135

The Basilica is often referred to as the Royal Necropolis of France; the bodies were removed during the French Revolution to protect them since the adjacent abbey was demolished with only the church left standing

The Basilica is often referred to as the Royal Necropolis of France; the bodies were removed during the French Revolution to protect them since the adjacent abbey was demolished with only the church left standing

The apse of the basilica was consecrated in 1144 during a procession led by King Louis VII and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine

The apse of the basilica was consecrated in 1144 during a procession led by King Louis VII and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine

This model shows the basilica in the days when St. Denis was more of a stand alone city, rather than a suburb of Paris; today, the area is heavily populated with immigrants

This model shows the basilica in the days when St. Denis was more of a stand alone city, rather than a suburb of Paris; today, the area is heavily populated with immigrants

All but three of the monarchs of France from the 10th century until 1789 have their remains here; all signage is in French but there is an audioguide in English

All but three of the monarchs of France from the 10th century until 1789 have their remains here; all signage is in French but there is an audioguide in English

It would have helped to be an expert in French royalty; for example, the closest tomb is Isabella of Aragon, Queen of France1271, who died from falling off a horse

It would have helped to be an expert in French royalty; for example, the closest tomb is Isabella of Aragon, Queen of France1271, who died from falling off a horse

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the earliest surviving stained-glass windows that can be exactly dated are those made for the Basilica in 1144

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the earliest surviving stained-glass windows that can be exactly dated are those made for the Basilica in 1144

The Basilica stands on the site of a Gothic-Roman cemetery with the tomb of St. Denis, thought to have been the first bishop of Paris, who was martyred circa 250AD

The Basilica stands on the site of a Gothic-Roman cemetery with the tomb of St. Denis, thought to have been the first bishop of Paris, who was martyred circa 250AD

Louis III was king from 879 to 882; Louis had military success but died when he hit his head on the lintel of a door when mounting a horse chasing after a girl with amorous intent

Louis III was king from 879 to 882; Louis had military success but died when he hit his head on the lintel of a door when mounting a horse chasing after a girl with amorous intent

Only 5 of the original 12th century stained glass windows remain; a master stained glass maker was hired with the windows actually costing more than the stone building itself

Only 5 of the original 12th century stained glass windows remain; a master stained glass maker was hired with the windows actually costing more than the stone building itself

Underneath the church are the archaeological remains of a Gallo-Roman cemetery from late Roman times

Underneath the church are the archaeological remains of a Gallo-Roman cemetery from late Roman times

Tomb of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne; the church became a cathedral in 1966

Tomb of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne; the church became a cathedral in 1966

Tomb of Charles VII, King of France from 1422 to 1461; he ruled in the middle of the Hundred Years War and, along with help from Joan of Arc, gained most of the territory of modern day France

Tomb of Charles VII, King of France from 1422 to 1461; he ruled in the middle of the Hundred Years War and, along with help from Joan of Arc, gained most of the territory of modern day France

The colored glass was a rare commodity in medieval times; the colors developed for Saint Denis were then used in other famous churches such as Chartres and Le Mans

The colored glass was a rare commodity in medieval times; the colors developed for Saint Denis were then used in other famous churches such as Chartres and Le Mans

The Basilica is like the Westminster Abbey of France but with few tourists since it is on the outskirts of Paris; it can be easily reached though at the next to last stop on the 13 subway line

The Basilica is like the Westminster Abbey of France but with few tourists since it is on the outskirts of Paris; it can be easily reached though at the next to last stop on the 13 subway line

The Basilica has the most significant group of funerary sculptures from the 12th to 16th century in Europe

The Basilica has the most significant group of funerary sculptures from the 12th to 16th century in Europe

Posted by RNRiggins 23:29

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