King Dagobert I had this chapel rebuilt and turned it into a
royal monastery, where he granted many privileges. He was interred in Saint Denis
and from then on it became a tradition, which was followed by almost all of the succeeding
And so the Basilica of Saint Denis, also known as Basilique de Saint Denis ended up
becoming the favourite burial spot for French Kings and the last king to be interred in
Saint Denis was King Louis XVIII.
The Gothic structure that stands today was begun in 1136 by Abbot Suger and not completed
until the end of the 13th century and is comparable with Westminster Abbey in England.
The Basilica of Saint Denis is located in St Denis, which is a
Northern suburb of Paris, France and was saved and
then restored by the architect Viollet le Duc.
It was the first major structure to be built in the Gothic style and is often referred to
as the Royal Necropolis of France and apart from King Louis XVI, his wife Marie Antionette
of Austria and his sister Madame Elizabeth, all of the monarchs of France right through
until 1789 are buried there, although it was not used for coronations.
But when the Bourbons returned to power briefly, they ordered a search for the remains of
King Louix XVI and Marie Antoinette, and few bones which were presumed to be the kings
along with some matter and a garter were found in 1815 in the Madeleine churchyard and
were taken to St Denis where they were also buried in the crypt.
When King Louis XVIII died in 1824, he was buried in the centre of the crypt near to King
Louis XVI and from then until 1830 other members of the royal family were placed in the
vaults when they died.
When King Louis VII died, he was buried at the Saint-Pont Abbey, but his remains were also
brought to St Denis Basilica and buried in the crypt.
The facade of the Saint Denis Basilica has a rose window and some lovely stained glass
windows in purple blue and rose colours that were restored to their former glory in the
Today it remains the largest museum of funerary sculpture in France, and contains the
tombs and recumbent statues of over 70 kings and queens, plus it is open every day of the
year for people to go and visit.