Along what used to be a road already during Roman times, leading from the Paris centre towards the north, is a small chapel called Saint-Denys-de-la-Chapelle. This was more or less countryside until the 19th century. There was a little village called La Chapelle (the chapel). The present chapel which dates from the 13th century was built on foundations of a 5th century one, created by Saint Genevieve, patron saint of Paris.
There is a saying that Saint Denis, the first bishop of Paris, martyred and beheaded around 250, walked all the way, holding his head in his arms – some six km – (4 miles) (see previous post) from Paris to what was to become the Saint-Denis Basilica (see previous post). However, it seems that Saint Genevieve had his remainders buried here in 475, in the previous little chapel, until they were transferred to the Saint Denis Basilica in 636. This explains the name of the chapel, St. Denys, St. Denis.
The present chapel, thus from the 13th century, has also had a famous guest; it seems that Joan of Arc spent a night here in 1429 on her way to conquer Paris, which was then under Burgundy control, a few months after her successful intervention at Orleans. She was however wounded and the fight about Paris didn’t take place. To honour her presence here, a basilica was built over the period 1930-1964, the Basilique Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc, the surprising bigger building you can now find as neighbour to the small chapel. The basilica seems to be not quite completed and is closed for visits, except for masses.
To further honour Joan, statues can be found outside the basilica and inside the chapel.
(I'm still in Sweden; this post is pre-programmed.)