The Basilica of St Denis (Basilique Saint-Denis) in Paris, France is a cathedral basilica named after France’s patron saint. In fact, the place where Basilica of St Denis stands is believed to the site where Saint Denis, also known as Saint Dionysius, was buried after his death in around 275 AD, making the then abbey church a place of pilgrimage.
Whilst originally founded in the 7th century, the current Basilica of St Denis was built in a gothic style in the 12th century by the Regent of France, Abbot Suger.
From the 7th century onwards, and officially from the 10th century, the Basilica of St Denis acquired a new and important role as the burial place of the kings and queens of France. It retained this role for hundreds of years and all but three of France’s monarchs were buried there. However, during the French Revolution, many of the tombs were opened and the remains removed.
In 1966 the Basilica of St Denis became a cathedral.
Today, the Basilica of St Denis is open to the public, allowing views beyond its stunning façade into its vaulted interior. Inside, visitors can view its incredible necropolis.
Guided tours and audio guides are available in English, French, Spanish and Italian, lasting between an hour and a quarter and an hour and a half.
The Basilica of St Denis is located 3km north of Paris, France. The nearest metro station is 'Saint-Denis - Porte de Paris' (line 13) and the journey takes around 20 minutes from Paris. Other nearby stations include Saint Denis RER on line D and tram line 1 stops nearby. By car from Paris it is a 10 minute journey, taking Route A1 towards Lille and exiting at Saint-Denis.
The Basilica of St Denis is open daily, 10am-5pm (to 6:15pm April to September). On Sundays it opens at noon. Closed on 1 January, 1 May, 25 December and during some religious services. Admission costs €7 for adults and free for under 18’s as well as for EU residents aged under 26. Other concessions are available.
Basilica of St Denis, 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 93200 Saint-Den
+33 01 48 09 83 54
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