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Saint-Denis Basilica: A Complete Guide

By Emily Dolmans

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Tomb of King Dagobert I
Tomb of King Dagobert at St Denis Basilica in France
Emily Dolmans/Licensed to About.com.
King Dagobert I of France was responsible for the reconstruction of St Denis as a Benedictine monastery devoted to St. Denis, replacing the small church commissioned by St. Geneviève that had previously occupied the site.

Dagobert's imposing tomb, pictured above, is located at the site of the king's interment in 639, next to St. Denis' relics.

This grand tribute visible to visitors was reconstructed in the thirteenth century and tells the story of the vision of John the hermit: the soul of the king is taken to Hell due to his theft of church property, but Saints Denis, Martin, and Maurice intercept the devils and take the soul, bringing it to Heaven. As such, it reinforces the saint as a guardian of the Capetian kings and their spiritual selves.

NEXT: The Crypt of the Mysterious Saint-Denis

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