Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis

The Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis is an architectural marvel in Saint-Denis, just north of Paris, France. 

The basilica is a stunning example of Gothic architecture known for its intricate stained glass windows, beautiful sculptures, and historical significance.


History of Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis

The Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis has a long and exciting history. 

It was built a long time ago, in the 7th century, by a man named Saint-Denis. He was the first bishop of Paris. 

The original church was relatively small and built on Saint Denis’s tomb. 

He was killed for his beliefs a very long time ago, in the 3rd century.

As time passed, the church was changed and improved many times. 

But the most significant changes happened in the 12th century. 

Suger, who was in charge of the church, wanted to make it bigger and better. 

So he decided to build a new church in a unique Gothic style. 

This style had tall arches and windows, which made the church look very impressive.

When the new church was built, it became a place where important people were buried. 

Many kings and queens of France were buried there. It was like a particular graveyard for the royal family. 

People thought it necessary to be buried there because it showed they were important and influential.

The church was damaged during the French Revolution but wasn’t destroyed completely. 

People later fixed it and made it look lovely again. 

Today, the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis is still a vital church. 

People go there to worship and to see the beautiful Gothic architecture. 

They also go to see the tombs of the kings and queens. 

The church is ancient and has a lot of history, so it is essential for French people.

Unveiling the Architectural Marvel: Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis

Welcome architecture enthusiasts and history buffs to our captivating journey through the architectural wonders of the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis. 

Nestled in the northern suburbs of Paris, this majestic structure is a testament to the birth of Gothic art and architecture. 

1. The Gothic Splendor: 

At the heart of the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis lies the embodiment of Gothic architecture. 

This style, which emerged during the medieval period, revolutionized how we perceive sacred spaces. 

Pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses dominate the structure, creating an atmosphere of grace and innovation.

2. The Enchanting West Façade: 

Approaching the cathedral, one cannot help but be enchanted by its west façade. 

Delicate sculptures and captivating rose windows adorn the entrance, offering a glimpse into the artistic magnificence that awaits inside. 

As you pass through the Royal Portal, you’ll encounter statues depicting Old Testament kings and queens, leaving you in awe of the rich biblical heritage.

3. A Journey Through the Interior: 

Step into the cathedral’s interior and be prepared to be transported to another world. 

The central nave, flanked by double aisles on either side, beckons you to explore further. 

The slender columns pointed arches, and ribbed vaults create an ethereal ambiance, playing with light and shadow as they reach towards the heavens.

4. Unveiling the Eastern Treasures: 

As you approach the cathedral’s eastern end, you’ll discover the ambulatory, a curved passageway encircling the choir. 

Here, a series of radiating chapels await, holding French royalty’s sacred tombs and funerary monuments. 

These hallowed spaces pay homage to the illustrious history that unfolded within these walls.

5. The Choir’s Splendor: 

Ascending the platform of the choir, you will find yourself immersed in a world of intricate beauty. 

Elaborate decorations and stained glass windows grace the space, casting a kaleidoscope of colors. 

Look up and marvel at the magnificent rose window, capturing scenes from the life of Christ in a breathtaking display of artistry.

6. Commemorating the Royal Legacy: 

The Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis is a unique resting place for French kings and queens. 

Within its walls lie countless tombs and monuments, where monarchs such as Louis XII and Anne of Brittany are immortalized in recumbent effigies. 

These sacred memorials pay homage to the regal lineage that shaped history.

Opening hours of Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis 

Opening hours of Basilica Cathedral of Saint Denis
Image: Twitter.com

When you go, take your time to explore the basilica. 

Admire the beautiful architecture, the colorful stained glass windows, and the historic royal tombs. 

Remember to be respectful and keep noise to a minimum to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.

If you want to learn more, consider joining a guided tour. 

The guides can tell you interesting stories and provide more information about the basilica.

Knowing the opening hours and planning, you can visit the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis and appreciate its historical significance.

PeriodDaysOpening HoursClosing Hours
2 January – 31 MarchMonday to Saturday10 am5:15 pm
Sunday12 pm5:15 pm
1 April – 30 SeptemberMonday to Saturday10 am6:15 pm
Sunday12 pm6:15 pm
1 October – 31 DecemberMonday to Saturday10 am5:15 pm
Sunday12 pm5:15 pm

Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis Tickets 

Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis Tickets
Image: Twitter.com

With Paris: Basilique Saint-Denis Entry Ticket , you can skip the lines and dive right into this magnificent Gothic masterpiece, known as the final resting place of French monarchs. 

As you explore the basilica’s crypts and chapels, Marvel at the intricate details and stunning stained glass windows. 

Paris: Basilique Saint-Denis Entry Ticket provides access to all areas of the basilica, including the stunning nave and ambulatory. 

Take advantage of this opportunity to discover the rich history and architectural beauty of one of Paris’ hidden gems. 

Purchase your tickets today and prepare to be enchanted by the Basilica of St. Denis.

Now you may want to know the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis ticket price.

Don’t worry! We have got you covered.

The admission fee is €10 for adults and €8 for students and seniors. 

Children under 18 and visitors under 26 with EU ID can enter for free. 

We recommend booking your tickets in advance to avoid long queues.

Don’t wait and book your tickets for Saint-Denis Basilica now.

Interesting facts

The Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis has played a significant role in French history. 

It was the traditional burial place of the French kings, and most were buried here until the French Revolution. 

The cathedral is also known for its connection to the French Revolution, as it was here that the revolutionary leader Robespierre was buried after his execution. 

In addition, the cathedral has been the site of many important events, including the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Saint Denis Basilica is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, or art. 

Its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful artwork make it a unique and unforgettable experience. 

Visiting the basilica will surely be a memorable experience whether you are a tourist or a local.

What to See at Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis

The Saint-Denis Basilica has numerous stunning features that are a must-see for any visitor. 

Here are some of the most notable sights to see during your visit:

The Royal Necropolis

The cathedral served as the burial place of French kings for centuries.

The Royal Necropolis contains the tombs of many monarchs, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Stained Glass Windows

The cathedral’s stained glass windows are breathtakingly beautiful, showcasing scenes from the Bible and the lives of various saints.

West Facade

The cathedral’s west facade is imposing, with its intricate carvings and statues of saints and biblical figures.

Choir Screen

Choir Screen
Image: Twitter.com

The choir screen, also known as the rood screen, is an ornate structure that separates the nave from the choir. It features beautiful sculptures of saints and apostles.


The cathedral’s organ is one of the largest in France, with over 6,000 pipes. 

It is a stunning musical instrument played by many famous musicians.


The crypt is located beneath the choir and contains the tombs of several bishops of Paris. 

The peaceful, serene space offers a glimpse into the cathedral’s rich history.

These are just a few beautiful and fascinating features of the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis. 

A visit to the Saint-Denis Cathedral is a unique and unforgettable experience that should not be missed.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Visit to the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis:

Tips to Make the Most of Your Visit to the Basilica Cathedral of Saint Denis
Image: Aiman SAAD ELLAOUI (Canva)

Visiting the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis can be a memorable experience, but planning to make the most of your trip is essential. 

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:

Book Your Tickets in Advance

The basilica can get busy, so booking your tickets in advance is a good idea to avoid long queues. 

You can purchase your Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis tickets online here or at the ticket office.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

The basilica is a large and sprawling structure, so you’ll be doing a lot of walking. 

Wear comfortable shoes to avoid getting tired or having sore feet.

Check the Schedule

The cathedral hosts regular services, concerts, and events that can impact visiting hours. 

Check the schedule in advance to ensure you get everything necessary.

Take a Guided Tour

A guided tour can provide in-depth knowledge of the cathedral’s history, art, and architecture. 

It can also help you maximize your time at the basilica.

Respect the Rules

The Basilica is a religious site, so dress appropriately and respectfully. 

Avoid loud talking, photography during services, and touching artwork or sculptures.

Bring a Guidebook

Bringing a guidebook or downloading a mobile app that provides information about the basilica can enhance your visit. 

It will give you an understanding of what you’re seeing and make the experience more meaningful.

Plan for Extra Time

The basilica is a vast structure with a lot to see. 

Plan for extra time to explore and appreciate the cathedral’s many stunning features.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your visit to the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis. 

With its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful artwork, visiting this magnificent basilica is an unforgettable experience.

Benefits of Buying Online Tickets for the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis

Buying your tickets online has several benefits that can make your visit more enjoyable and stress-free. 

Here are some of the advantages of purchasing your tickets online:

Skip the Line

One of the most significant benefits of buying online tickets is that you can skip the queue at the ticket office. 

This saves you time and ensures that you can enter the cathedral promptly.

Guarantee Entry

Online tickets guarantee entry to the basilica, even on busy days when tickets might sell out at the ticket office.

Plan Ahead

Buying tickets online allows you to plan your visit, ensuring you can visit the basilica at a time that works best for you.

Save Money

Many online ticket providers offer discounted prices for tickets purchased online. 

This can save you money on the cost of your visit.

We suggest buying your online tickets here.

Mobile Ticketing

Some ticket providers offer mobile ticketing, which allows you to download your ticket to your phone. 

This means you won’t need to print out your ticket, making it more convenient and environmentally friendly.


Online tickets often offer more flexibility than tickets purchased at the ticket office. 

Many ticket providers allow you to change the date of your visit or cancel your booking if your plans change.

Best time to visit 

Best time to visit
Image: Twitter.com

When planning a visit to the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis, it’s essential to consider the best time to go. 

The weather, the crowds, and the events happening in the area can all impact your experience. 

Here are some tips to help you decide when to visit this magnificent monument.

Best Season

The best season to visit the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis is from March to May and September to November. 

The weather is mild during these months, and the crowds are thinner than during summer. 

You can enjoy the beauty of the basilica and the surrounding area without being overwhelmed by crowds.

Best Day

If you want to avoid crowds, visiting the basilica on a weekday is best. 

Most tourists visit the basilica on weekends, so arriving on a weekday will give you a more peaceful and enjoyable experience.

Best Time of Day

The best time of day to visit the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis is early in the morning. 

Arriving before the crowds will allow you to enjoy the basilica’s beauty without feeling rushed or crowded. 

Plus, the morning light will highlight the cathedral’s stunning architecture.

Best Month

The best month to visit the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis depends on your preferences. 

If you prefer cooler weather and thinner crowds, visit in March, April, September, or October. 

If you are okay with the crowds and want to enjoy warmer weather, visit in July or August.

Best Time for Photography 

If you’re a photography enthusiast, the best time to visit the basilica is during the golden hour, the hour after sunrise or before sunset.

The soft, warm light will highlight the details and beauty of the cathedral’s Gothic architecture.

The best time to visit the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis depends on your preferences and priorities. 

Whether you prefer cooler weather, thinner crowds, or the best time for photography, planning your visit accordingly will help you make the most of your time at this incredible monument

How to reach Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis 

Reaching the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis is relatively easy, thanks to its location in the heart of Saint-Denis, just a few kilometers north of Paris. 

Here’s a breakdown of the transportation options available to help you plan your visit.

By Metro

The easiest way to reach the basilica is by metro. Take line 13 towards Saint-Denis Université and leave at the Basilique de Saint-Denis station. 

The basilica is just a few minutes walk from the metro station.


You can also reach the basilica by RER. 

Take the RER D towards Orry-la-Ville or Creil and get off at the Saint-Denis station.

From there, it’s a 15-minute walk to the basilica.

By Bus

Several bus routes stop near the basilica, including lines 153, 253, 255, and 356. 

Check the RATP website for more information on bus routes and schedules.

By Car

If you’re driving, take the A1 motorway towards Lille and take the Saint-Denis exit. 

Follow the signs toward the basilica, and you’ll find parking lots nearby.

By Bicycle

The Basilica is also accessible by bicycle, and Paris has several bike rental options. 

You can use the Vélib bike-sharing system or rent a bike from a local shop.

In conclusion, reaching the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis is easy, thanks to its central location and proximity to public transportation. 

Whether you prefer to take the metro, RER, bus, or bike, several options are available to help you reach this incredible monument. 

Plan your visit accordingly and enjoy the beauty and history of the Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis.


Why is the Basilica of Saint-Denis important?

The Basilica of Saint-Denis is an important historical and architectural monument. 

It is considered the birthplace of Gothic architecture and the final resting place of many French monarchs, making it an important site for French history.

What are some fun facts about the Basilica of Saint-Denis?

The Basilica of Saint-Denis was the first Gothic church in the world and served as the model for many other churches in Europe. 

It was also the first church to use flying buttresses, which helped to support the building’s weight. 

The basilica is home to many beautiful stained glass windows, including some that date back to the 12th century.

Why was the Basilica of Saint-Denis built?

The Basilica of Saint-Denis was built in the 12th century by Abbot Suger, a prominent figure in French history. 

He wanted to create a grand, impressive building to showcase the power of the French monarchy and the power of the Church.

How long does it take to visit the Basilica of Saint-Denis?

The Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis is a vast structure with many beautiful features to explore. 

Depending on your level of interest, a visit can take anywhere from one to three hours. 

Be sure to take your time to appreciate its stunning architecture and beautiful artwork.

Is there a dress code for visiting the Basilica of Saint-Denis?

Visitors are expected to dress respectfully as the Basilica of Saint-Denis is a religious site. 

This means no shorts or bare shoulders. 

Comfortable walking shoes are also recommended, as the basilica is a vast structure with many stairs to climb.

Featured Image: Tourisme-plainecommune-paris.com

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!