The Basilica of Saint-Denis
The burial place of French kings
Located in the Northern suburbs of Paris, the Basilica of Saint-Denis is considered the main monastery of medieval France, the spiritual center of the nation. This ancient temple, the world’s first Gothic building and the tomb of the great French monarchs.
According to the legend, in the III century ad, the first Bishop of France, St. Dionysius (Denis) was executed for preaching Christianity. But a miracle happened: the torment of Saint rose, picked up the severed body parts and took the road to the North. But after about 6 km, fell, and the place of his death was renamed Saint-Denis. In the V century, with the blessing of St. geneviève, construction began on the Basilica in honor of St. Dionysius. In the VII century by order of king Dagober I, the Basilica was rebuilt and became the main temple of the richest of the French Abbey. Since the beginning of the XIII century the Basilica was the burial place of French monarchs, from the Merovingian to the Bourbons.
“Architecture of light”
Ancient Basilica of the Carolingian era was rebuilt by Abbot Syuzhe, who applied a novel at the time approach to architecture. “Architecture of light” – as the author himself called this style of building, full of sunlight, which symbolizes the passage of human beings from worldly concerns to spiritual values. This amazing effect was achieved through the use of a wide omnichrome and colorful stained glass Windows depicting biblical scenes. For the first time in the construction of the Cathedral was used another architectural innovation – the high window-rose. Unusual appearance and luxurious interior of the Church impressed all the contemporaries of Abbot, and its magnificent Gothic style was recognized as a benchmark for the further construction of the cathedrals.