Guided visit of the Basilica of Saint Denis
- Visit to the first Gothic cathedral in the world
- See the tombs of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
- Attend the Mass if booking the tour on Sunday
Your local guide will meet you in downtown Paris, and escort you on a 2.5-hour visit to the world’s first Gothic cathedral, the burial site of the kings and queens of France. The architecture of the structure will take your breath away, and the tombs of the monarchs will inspire you with over 1500 years of royal grandeur.
According to catholic tradition, St Denis was the first bishop of Paris. He gave a miraculous sermon after his decapitation, holding his head under his arm while walking to this site! The Gothic edifice was begun nearly 900 years later, in the first half of the 12th century well before Notre Dame de Paris. Saint Louis elected this abbey for his family’s tombs, and as a result the basilica now contains a surpassing collection of intricately sculpted sarcophagi.
This official necropolis of the French Monarchy features the tombs of 43 kings and 32 queens, going back to 7th century king Dagobert and extending through to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. A guided visit of the site indeed encompasses much of the history of Paris itself.
The zealous Revolutionaries went to the trouble of exhuming all their former rulers and tossing the desecrated bodies into a common grave. With the Bourbon Restoration in 1814, the king’s ancestral tombs had to be somehow reassembled... but how to sort out the scrambled remains? Your guide will reveal all, including the tragic demise of the guillotined monarchs’ young son, whose memory is honored by a crystal urn purportedly containing the dauphin’s heart.
With uniquely influential and beautiful architecture, and fascinating stories of numerous powerful and poignant personalities, the Saint Denis Basilica tour is sure to please.
- 2 hour guided visit of the Basilica of St Denis
- Escorted metro ride to St Denis from central Paris
- Fully accredited local guide
- Small groups of 20 people or fewer
- Personal expenses
9 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris
- 9 avenue du Général Eisenhower - 75008 Paris
- Metro stop: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau (line 1)
- In front of the Grand Palais
- Sunday bookings will give you the opportunity to attend the Mass after your visit
- The Mass will start at 6:00 pm from October to March, and at 6:30 pm from April to September
- Note that the Basilica is both a museum and a church. For that reason, very occasionaly, due to funerals or exceptional masses the tour could be canceled or postponed. We would of course warn you as early as possible as we keep in touch with the staff of the Basilica.
- From October to April, make sure you are dressed warmly as it gets really cold inside the cathedral.
- There are a few steps to enter the church and to reach the crypt. The Necropolis museum has special accesses and elevators for disabled people. Make sure you notify it to us so we make the arrangements with the staff there and the tour will go smoothly for everyone.
On Sundays at 3:15 pm
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