Paris is a city full of surprises and never fails to deliver. No matter how many times you visit there’s always something new to discover… like the breathtaking Porte Saint-Denis on the Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle in the 10th arrondissement…
Porte Saint-Denis was built on the orders of Louis XIV in 1672 to celebrate his military victories. Designed by architect François Blondel and the sculptor Michel Anguier it commemorates the King’s victories on the Rhine and in Franche-Comté and was inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome. It replaced a medieval gate in the walls of Paris that had been there since the 14th century, built by Charles V.
The massive monument of Porte Saint-Denis certainly rivals the Arc de Triumph in beauty and in fact it was the inspiration for Napoleon’s arch at l’Etoile, built in 1836.
For centuries, the Kings of France would pass through this gate and along the rue Saint Denis to attend services at the medieval Basilica of Saint-Denis, which was the burial place for many past regents of France in what is now the northern suburb of Paris. Napoleon’s troops passed through the arch, entering the city in 1816 after a victorious campaign and, on the occasion of her visit to the Universal Exposition in 1855, Queen Victoria passed under the arch; she was the last sovereign to have completed this ritual dating back nearly a thousand years. And if you’re wondering about that inscription Ludovico Magno – it means Louis the Great.
A writer and producer in Australia, Gai Reid says ”The next best thing to being in France, is writing about it to share my joy with others who feel the same connection.”
Metro: Strasbourg – Saint-Denis.
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