The Abbey Church of Saint Denis is well-known as the first Gothic framework and was arisen in the 12th century by Abbot Suger.

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Key Points The 2 architects that functioned under Abbot Suger"s direction remajor uncredited, figured out only by their distinctive stylistic contributions.

The Abbey Church of Saint Denis, likewise recognized as the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis, is a huge medieval abbey church in the commune of Saint Denis, now a north suburb of Paris. This website originated as a Gallo-Roguy cemetery in late Romale times. Around 475 CE, St. Genevieve establimelted a church at this website. In the 7th century, this structure was reput by a a lot grander construction, on the orders of Dagobert I, King of the Franks.

The Basilica of Saint Denis is an architectural landmark, the first significant framework of which a considerable component was designed and developed in the Gothic style. Both stylistically and structurally, it heralded the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture. Before the term "Gothic" came into common usage, it was recognized as the "French Style."

Saint Denis is a patron saint of France and also, according to legfinish, was the first Bishop of Paris. Legend claims that he was decapitated on the Hill of Montmartre and also ultimately carried his head to the website of the current church, indicating wright here he wanted to be hidden.


Saint Denis, from the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

Saint Denis was martyred in link through the Decian persecution of Christians, soon after CE 250.

Dagobert I restarted the church as the Abbey of Saint Denis, a Benedictine monastery. Dagobert also commissioned a brand-new shrine to residence the saint"s remains; it was created by his chief counselor, Eligius, a goldsmith by training.


Tomb of Dagobert I

Dagobert"s tomb was enhanced throughout the 13th century at the Basilica of Saint Denis.

Abbot Suger

Abbot Suger (circa 1081-1151), Abbot of Saint Denis from 1122 and also a friend and confidant of French kings, had actually been given the abbey as an oblate at the age of 10 and began occupational around 1135 on restructure and enlarging it.

Suger was the patron of the rebuilding of Saint Denis, yet not the architect, as was frequently assumed in the 19th and also early on 20th centuries. In reality it appears that two distinct architects, or master masons, were connected in the 12th century changes. Both remajor anonymous, but their job-related deserve to be distinguiburned stylistically. The initially, that was responsible for the initial job-related at the western end, favored traditional Romanesque fundings and also molding propapers with wealthy and individualized detailing. His successor, who completed the western facade and top stories of the narthex prior to going on to develop the new choir, presented a much more restrained approach to decorative effects, relying on a basic repertoire of motifs, which may have showed even more suitable for the lighter Gothic style that he assisted to produce.

Suger"s western extension was completed in 1140 and the 3 brand-new chapels in the narthex were consecrated on June nine of that year. On completion of the west front, Abbot Suger relocated on to the rebuilding and construction of the eastern end. He wanted a choir (chancel) that would certainly be suffsupplied via light. To accomplish his aims, Suger"s masons attracted on the brand-new facets that had actually developed or been introduced to Romanesque architecture: the pointed arch, the ribbed vault, the ambulatory via radiating chapels, the clustered columns sustaining ribs springing in different directions, and the flying buttresses, which allowed the insertion of big clerestory windows. This was the initially time that these attributes had actually all been lugged together. The brand-new structure was finiburned and dedicated on June 11th of 1144, in the visibility of the King.


Thus, the Abbey of Saint Denis came to be the prototype for even more structure in the royal domajor of northern France. Through the rule of the Angevin dynasty, the style was presented to England and also spread throughout France, the Low Countries, Germany type of, Spain, northern Italy, and also Sicily.

The dark Romanesque nave, via its thick walls and also small home window openings, was reconstructed making use of the latest methods, in what is now known as Gothic. This new style, which differed from Suger"s previously works as much as they had differed from their Romanesque precursors, decreased the wall area to an absolute minimum. Solid stonework was replaced via large home window openings filled via brilliant stained glass and also interrupted only by the many slender of bar tracery—not just in the clerestory however additionally, probably for the first time, in the normally dark triforium level. The top facades of the two much-enlarged transepts were filled with 2 spectacular rose windows. Just like Suger"s previously restructure occupational, the identity of the architect or grasp mason is unwell-known.

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The abbey is frequently referred to as the "imperial necropolis of France" as it is the website wright here the monarchs of France and also their family members were hidden for centuries. All yet three of the emperors of France from the 10th century until 1789 have their stays here. The effigies of many kind of of the monarchs and also queens are on their burial places, but throughout the French Revolution, those tombs were opened and the bodies were moved to mass graves.