Today our first visit is to the very fist Gothic church in the world.
The site actually goes back to Roman times when legend has it that Saint
Denis, after being beheaded on Montmartre, walked her head-in-hand and chose
this spot as his final resting place. Since that time Saint-Denis has been
source of legend and a powerful symbol of Christian France. Around 500
AD Saint Geneviève, the patroness of Paris, led pilgrims here to adore the
site chosen by the great martyr. A new chapel was built that lasted
until around 700 when Dagobert, the Merovingian king of the Franks, decided to
renovate the church and to make it his final resting place. Soon all the
French kings asked to be buried here and around 1122 King Louis VI le Gros and
his sage minister Suger deicided that the kingdom needed a great new symbol of
its power. They brought all the greatest builders from France and from
Europe to this site. The order was to build high and to bring light to
the glory of God and the king. Gothic architecture was born here and
soon spread throughout the Christian world.