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August 04, 2012

The resting place of kings: Saint Denis

 Basilica of St Denis

 "the wonderful and uninterrupted light of most sacred windows" - Abbot Suger

I have a keen interest in tomb sculpture and was very excited to visit Saint Denis. The French cathedral was the site of royal French tombs for centuries. It once sat outside of Paris but is now within city lines. The interior is open and spacious, and amazing light is filtered through windows.

Unfortunately photos were not allowed inside, so I can't show you too much. But some things were too good to pass by!  So I pulled out my 'art historian license' and went to work. Below are later  sculptures of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and below is the tomb of Henri II and Catherine Medici.

My personal favorite is the tomb of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne! An epitaph written for Anne runs alongside these elements as well:
“Earth, World and Heaven have divided Madame Anne, who was wife to kings Charles and Louis; Earth took the corpse that lies under this stone, World retains the fame and renown Forever enduring, and with unblemished soul So Heaven, for its part, has taken the soul.”


Tomb of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne.








Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

Tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Medici





6 comments

  1. i've been visiting this site since 2007 yet i never see any posts about the movie Farewell My Queen. It looks like its a poor portrayal of our beloved La Reine but i'm curious about the costumes.

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  2. @anonymous thanks for the movie review suggestion! I am also curious about the costumes

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  3. @The Liberty Belle thanks! Have you been?

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  4. Nice! (I hate it when they don't let you take even non-flash photos, especially when it's not like they can claim the stuff is copyrighted.) I wanted to see St. Denis but didn't get a chance, and honestly I herd such bad things about that part of town it was rather off putting. (Barbes-Rochechouart was like the worst place I've ever been in anywhere in the whole world, and the stuff I hear about the area around St. denis isn't much better.)

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  5. @Gibson Girl Edwardian Fashion yes, isn't that a shame, @Heather and I heard bad stuff too, but we went on a sunny afternoon and went straight from metro station to cathedral! The neighborhood didn't appear awful from what I recall (in that little area we walked through)
    :)

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