Necropolis of the Kings and queens: the Basilica of Saint Denis Private Tour - Welcome to Memories DMC France

Necropolis of the Kings and queens: the Basilica of Saint Denis Private Tour

From EUR 199.80

Final resting place of the kings and queens of France.

First Gothic church in the world, its prestige dates from the Middle Ages when this architecture spread throughout northern Europe and that the king Saint Louis decided to turn into the official Royal necropolis. The Cathedral’s architecture is breathtaking but the recumbents and mausoleums within it illustrate the evolution of funerary art. Our professional tour guide will tell you about the Kings and Queens who lie there, from Dagobert in the VIth century to Louis XVIII in the XIXth century. You will see the grave of king Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. Join us for this amazing experience full of memories and History. After this tour, you’ll be able to understand France more deeply and from another perspective.

From EUR 199.80

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What to expect during this tour ?

So many people come to France without seeing this unmissable cathedral. Apart from its beauty, two good reasons should persuade you not to miss this tour.

Firstly, It was named after Denis, or Dionysius, patron saint of the Kings, who christianised France in the IIIrd century, and who is seen as the first bishop. At first small church was built where he died after being decapitated miles from there! Indeed Saint Denis rose and carried his head all the way to lie where he saw fit ! In 1144, in reconstruction headed by abbot Suger, the church became the first ever Gothic style building, years before Notre Dame. Our professional tour guide will explain the ideas of the Abbot that led to the invention of this new style known then as the French Style.

The second reason is because in the 13th century, it became the French King’s official burial grounds. Almost all the kings and queens of France lie there, from Dagobert in the 7th century to Louis XVIII in 1824!

During the tour, you will see the evolution of funerary art, from mere recumbent figures to very complex mausoleums, inspired by the Italian Renaissance with detailed cadaver tombs. It is the best time machine that will go over centuries of History. It may be the best way for you to be introduced to the capital through the kings who made it. After this tour, you’ll be familiar with most monuments and main buildings in Paris as most of them are connected to the kings of France. From their first Palace in what is now the Conciergerie in the Cité Island to the walls that once surrounded Paris built in 1190 by Philippe Augustus and the fortress of the Louvre now museum and the Tuileries Palace or Versailles and so much more...

You will hear all about when, in 1793, the revolutionaries wouldn’t let this place be a symbol for the royalists and meticulously dug out every single  one of the kings and queens and threw them into a mass graveyard. They broke some tombs and moved others to a museum in Paris.

In 1815, the restoration of the monarchy tried its best to put everything back together but only did so imperfectly. The glory of the Kings had to be restored and the bodies of the martyrs Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette brought back to the Basilica. But how, after the turmoil of the French Revolution, were their bodies found ? Our guide will tell you that story and that of their son, Louis XVII, who died in jail at 10 years old and whose heart is still preserved today in a crystal urn. But is it really his heart? Some say the boy didn’t really die and the body was that of another child. Again the Memories guide will give you all the elements so you make up your own mind about it.

There is so much History, so many anecdotes in this beautiful cathedral that our guides could go on for days in this place.


Special

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.


Caution:

Booking recommended at least 3 weeks prior to the Tour.

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. Memories 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.

Highlights

  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Pickup from a centrally located meeting point
  • All entrance & transportation fees included
  • Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
  • Step back in time on a history tour

Schedule

Duration: 2:30 Hours

Operating days and start time:

  • From April to September: every day at 10:00 am, 10:15 am, & 2:45 pm,
  • From October to March: every day at 10:00 am, 10:15 am, & 2:15 pm.

Meeting point:

For your comfort, tour starts in an easily accesible place in Paris where you will meet our representative who will escort you by metro to your professional tour guide at the Basilica.

Meet us 15 minutes prior to the starting time of the tour next to Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau metro station (Metro-MParis m 1 jms line 1). You will find a statue of a walking man who is our famous French President Charles de Gaule. It si located right in front of the Grand Palais. You can also use the address 9 avenue du Général Eisenhower (Paris).

Route

  1. Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau