Basilica of St. Denis--page 5 (of ten pages): crypt

various sections from 775 to the 12th century

Note that some of these photographs were taken with a flash and some with low-light natural conditions.
Suger's new 12th century choir was built above a surviving crypt. Part of the crypt includes what survives of the Carolingian church dedicated in 775; this remaining apse was also a martyrium for the relics of St. Denis and other important Christian figures. The central chapel of the crypt, built east of the Carolingian portion, was connected to it with a long arcade. See below left. This chapel in the crypt, also known as the Abbot Hilduin Chapel, was remodeled a number of times and contains historiated capitals. The massive thick walls and heavy columns date from the 12th century when this basement structure was necessary to support the new choir.

Ambulatory chapel of the crypt--before 1144


Historiated capitals--Romanesque period


Go to page 2: historiated capitals in the crypt.

Go to Saint Denis Index.

Click here to return to index of art historical sites.

Click here to return to index of artists and architects.

Click here to return to chronological index.

Click here to see the home page of Bluffton University.

© 2006 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.