Porte Saint-Denis Paris
This week’s photo of the week is of Porte Saint-Denis in Paris, taken in the 1960s. The huge stone arch is yet another of Louis XIV’s architectural legacies in the French city and the gilded inscription around the top reads LUDOVICO MAGNO “To Louis the Great”.
It is located in the 10th arrondissement at the site of one of the gates of the Wall of Charles V which made up the now-destroyed fortifications of Paris. The Porte Saint-Denis is located at the crossing of the Rue Saint-Denis by the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, with the Boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle.
Saint Denis is the patron saint of Paris and legend has it that when he was decapitated in Montmartre he picked up his own head and walked. Not only that – he preached all the way to what is now the suburban town of Saint Denis, in the north of Paris.
This beautiful monument was designed by architect François Blondel and the sculptor Michel Anguier on the orders of Louis XIV, the Sun King, to honour his victories on the Rhine and in Franche-Comté. It was built in 1672 and paid for by the city of Paris and replaced a medieval gate in the city walls built by Charles V in the 14th century. Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, there is a large central arch and two smaller arches for pedestrians at the side though these are now closed. There are lots of wonderful sculptures and engravings depicting scenes from battles in the Rhine and the Netherlands.