Erected over the grave of Saint Denis, who was martyred around 250, the building became an important place of worship, and a Benedictine monastery was established.
In 1144, Abbot Suger, counsellor to the king (1122–1151), had the abbey’s church expanded and ensured its prosperity. A place of pilgrimage and remembrance, its history is intimately linked to that of the monarchy. From Dagobert to Louis XVIII, 42 kings, 32 queens, 63 princes and princesses, and 10 individuals who rendered great service to the kingdom were laid to rest in the basilica. Their tombs feature magnificent funerary sculptures.
The first masterpiece of Gothic art, this monument was nicknamed Lucerna (the lantern) because it was so bright, an exceptional characteristic for the 13th century. This was achieved through numerous stained-glass windows and innovative architecture.
Saint-Denis became a cathedral in 1966, upon the creation of the Seine-Saint-Denis diocese.
> Unaccompanied tour with guide booklet in French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, and Russian.
> Audioguide tour available in French, English, German, Italian and Spanish, from € 4,50 - 6 for couples.
> Videoguide in signing language.
1, rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 93 200 Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis).
+33 (0) 1 48 09 83 54.
Basilique de Saint-Denis.
10am-6:15pm from 04.1 to 09.30 ; 10am-5:15pm from 10.1 to 03.31. Last entry 30 min prior to closing. Opening at 12pm on Sundays. Closed during some religious ceremonies, on 1.01, on 05.1, on 12.25 and during special events.
-18s and -26s (E.U citizens and residents) free
. No entry fee on the first Sunday of each month from 1.11 to 3.31 inclusive.
Please note: apply to cash desk to collect a free ticket.