Sunday, May 6, 2012

Église Saint Germain l'Auxerrois - St Denis



The statue of Saint-Denis holding his head can be seen all over Paris, here at Saint Germain l'Auxerrois church and nearby at Notre Dame for two.

In the third century he was Bishop of Paris and martyred in connection with the persecution of Christians shortly after 250 A.D.  After his head was chopped off in the area now known at Montmartre, he is said to have picked it up and walked six miles (10km) preaching as he walked.  The site where he stopped preaching and actually died was marked by a small shrine that developed into Basilique Saint-Denis which I featured last Sunday.

There are many versions of the story and the statues depicting Saint-Denis are unique in their artistic interpretation of his halo, and whether or not he made it the whole way with his head or just some part of it.

When you are in Paris, look for Saint-Denis.  He is easy to spot.


bon dimanche 

Église Saint Germain l'Auxerrois
2, place du Louvre
75001 Paris


23 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Yes, I bet he is easy to spot! What great history for the day! Marvelous statue -- don't see many headless ones! Wonderful post and photo as always, Genie! Hope your weekend is going well!

Hugs
Sylvia

Erika said...

Je ne connaissais pas cette histoire, cette légende. La prochaine fois que je viendrai à Paris je visiterai cette église et cette statue.Passe un beau dimanche!
Erika

Ann said...

OMG that is one marvelous story/history. Thanks for sharing.
As for the statue, looks eerie to me, but hey your shot of it was pretty good.

ALAIN said...

Le plus difficile, quand on tient sa tête dans ses mains, c'est de ne pas faire tomber le chapeau.

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

Ah, that's who he is - I saw two headless statues at a church I was in the other week (I knew one was John the Baptist) but couldn't figure out who the other was. Thanks!

Mystica said...

A new tidbit for me! thanks for the information.

Joe said...

He usually stays quite calm in stressful situations but this time he really lost his head.

Cezar and Léia said...

Dramatic sculpture!Wonderful idea for this composition, love your picture!
Léia

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Genie:
Well, as we have come straight from a Bishop, this is a most appropriate post and made even more interesting by the fact that we did not actually know the story of St. Denis. Happily our Bishop, whose head was attached, proved to be very jolly indeed.

Thank you so much for the email which we opened before we set off this morning. So very kind and very much appreciated.

Riet said...

What a beautiful story and so special. I must remember St Denis for when I get to Paris one day, hopefully soon.

Jann said...

Really enjoyed all the information about the statue.You always have incredible finds to share with us!

Virginia said...

And in Montmartre as well! I'm still laughing at Alain's comment!
V

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Firstly the image is lovely Genie, I like the soft background, but the story is wonderful and some of the above comments have been so funny. Tres enjoyable post.

This is Belgium said...

like this post
happy sunday
anni

Starman said...

Isn't it interesting how the utter stupidity of religion just will not go away?

Alexa said...

You had to go through a lot to become a saint back in the day. Denis stands head and shoulders above rest, though, don't you think? Seriously, thanks for this good shot and interesting post—bon dimanche, Genie.

M said...

Ou est St. Denis? that is the game that you should play at every church (well, that an ou est Jeanne D'Arc) ... it seems that you find their likeness in every Parisian church. Great capture and detail, Genie.

Randy said...

What an amazing piece of art.

Halcyon said...

I'm not sure I believe the myth, but it's a nice story. And makes for a good statue too! :)

Kris said...

Interesting story...It's hard to believe one could actually pick-up their head, walk10 km, preaching while walking! Amazing!

Love the building in the background...all that blue!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Thanks for all the comments today on Saint-Denis. I think that as you discover a city that the little stories like this make it interesting and memorable.

Although we cannot be sure what happened almost 1800 years ago, whatever it was certainly made an impression on the people at that time.

Have a great and productive, artistic, optimistic week ahead...

Bises,
Genie

AL said...

Aahhh! They don't make saints like that anymore!

Robert Nicolaescu said...

Very interesting! Have a nice weekend!