8 years ago319 views
On my way home from a meeting of disabled persons, I decided to stop in to the Basilica of Saint-Denis. This is the world's first Gothic cathedral. It's on my street in Paris-Saint-Denis.
This church was the number one point for Christian pilgrimages in France for more than 1,000 years.
Pilgrims would file past the holy relics of Saint Denys, who was, in fact, the first bishop of Paris (Lutêce) -- which the Romans took a dim view of. This church was the necropole of the royals.
In a clever PR maneouvre, the Church, which was in decline, approached royals and said, hey, meld your image with the Church! It'll give you more "right" to rule!
There was a chapel here in the 8th century. The origins of this basilica (a cathedral since the 1960s) date back to the Carolingians. You can still see the original church below, and the sarcophagi in the fascinating crypt.
Religion was outlawed during the first French Revolution, in the 18th century.
copyright 2010 Lisa Falour