Few Americans ever see it, but this is the very first Gothic church in the world -- the Basilica of Saint-Denis, just nort of Paris. Legend has it that around the year 250 AD the Bishop Denis was beheaded by Romans bent on exterminating all Christians. This took place on the hill of Montmartre (Mount Martyr) at the edge of Paris. The good bishop then took his own head in hand, washed it off, and headed to this spot, where he chose to be buried. That legend has attached most every French king, cardinal, and bishop to this spot. At first a simple grave, generation after generation of French royalty has made its contribution to the prestige of the Christian faith and the power of the king. The greatest attachment to this place took place in the 1100's when Louis VI and his genius of a minister Suger had the idea of building the world's greatest church right here. This, I said , THIS, is the world's first Gothic church.
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This page last updated on 2005-06-02 7:20:27 PM.