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In an enclosure in the heart of the city, St-Denis Church has the oldest gothic tower in the region, dating to the 13th century
A symbolic site
The church lies between the St-Bertin Abbey and the cathedral on an ancient path of procession, which is today the rue Saint-Bertin. It is one of the oldest parish churches of the city, built in response to the rapid growth in population at the time.
The oldest parts of the church date back to the 13th century, such as the tower and the sculpted features in the north chapel. Around 1705, during a storm, the tower’s spire tumbled onto the nave.
Witness to the society of the Ancient Regime
Starting in the Middle Ages, this church welcomed many noble families and today still has features that witness to this rich history, such as the chapels and furnerary sculptures dedicated to these families. The black stone furnerary sword of Antoine d’Averhout, or Avroult, from Tournai, who died in the battle of Azincourt can be found in the church. As the city centre’s parish, Saint-Denis also received many important merchant and magistrate familes. The church housed those from all classes, and before the French Revolution, people of all classes could be found here. The members of the parish had their statuses, customs, patron saint and chapel all in one church, which still features painted woodwork in the Chapel of the Carpenters and a beautiful alter in the Chapel of the Fishers, which are only a small part of its many impressive characteristics.
This church is not open to visit.