The Cathedral Saint-Denis (in French: Cathédrale royale de Saint-Denis, or just Basilique Saint-Denis, formerly Abbaye de Saint-Denis) is a large abbey church in the commune of Saint-Denis, now a suburb to the north from Paris. The abbey church was named cathedral in 1966 and is the residence of the Bishop of Saint-Denis, Pascal Michel Ghislain Delannoy. The building is of great historical and architectural importance. Although it is universally known as the “Basilica of Saint-Denis” in fact, it officially has the title “Cathedral-Basilica”. Since 1966, the abbey has become the cathedral and seat of the diocese of Saint-Denis.
Founded in the 7th century by Dagobert I where St. Dinis, a patron saint of France, was buried, the church became a place of pilgrimage and the mausoleum of the French kings, almost all the kings of the tenth and eighteenth centuries were buried there, as well as many of the previous centuries. (The church was not used for the coronation of kings, this role being assigned to the Cathedral of Reims, however, queens were commonly crowned there.) “Saint-Denis” soon became the abbey of a growing monastic complex. In the 12th century the Abbot Suger rebuilt parts of the abbey using innovative structural and decorative features, which were drawn from a number of other sources. In doing so, he claimed to have created the first truly Gothic building.  The 13th-century nave of the basilica is also the prototype of the radiant Gothic style, and provided an architectural model for cathedrals and monasteries of northern France, England and other countries.