Exploring Paris - Basilique Saint-Denis
Ok, ok...perhaps I was a bit harsh in my last post about falling out of love with Paris...
It's almost like Scheduling read my post and decided to make me go to Paris until I fell in love with it again. Right after I posted that entry, I was off on yet another trip to explore Paris. And, instead of letting laziness win, I decided to take a little trip somewhere.
Initially, I had bought a ticket to Musée d'Orsay because I've never been, but I couldn't figure out how to print off the ticket. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It's good till the end of the year, and I'm sure I'll be back in Paris before I know it.
On the advice of a dear colleague, I went to visit Basilique Saint-Denis, a beautiful cathedral just north of Paris. In my jet-lagged state (and after having ran 4 miles), I wasn't too thrilled at the idea of taking the Métro to almost the end of the line. But I let my boundless sense of adventure take over and gladly made the trek out to Saint-Denis.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I love visiting cathedrals. And I've seen some gorgeous ones all over Europe. As of right now, I'd say that Basilique Saint-Denis almost rivals Notre Dame. It is that grandiose and beautiful.
Roman Catholic history states that Saint Denis was decapitated in Montmartre, then got up and carried his head all the way to where the basilica stands now. This would be his final resting place and the start of the Basilique Saint-Denis.
The basilica is filled with the tombs of French royalty and nobility. Aside from Saint Denis, notable French rulers such as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are buried there. To visit the crypt where these rulers are buried cost €9 (and an audio guide cost €3), it was worth it. Plus, I'm interested in macabre stuff like that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I spent a long afternoon learning about the history of the church, the lives of those buried there, and admiring the medieval architecture. One of my favourite things to do when visiting a cathedral is to sit, look around at the architecture, breathe in that smell that only exists in buildings that are hundreds of years old, and reflect.
I highly recommend those wanting to explore Paris to make a trip up to Basilique Saint-Denis. It's notably more quiet than Notre-Dame, and thus more peaceful and less crowded.
Here's to giving Paris another chance,