Statue of Saint Denis in Paris


One of the main architectural sights of Paris is the late Gothic sculpture Statue de Saint Denis, which personifies Saint Dionysius (Saint Denis), holding his own head in his palms. He was the first bishop of the capital of France and a Christian holy martyr who lived in the 3rd century from the birth of Christ.


Information has reached our century that Dionysius of Paris traveled the world (Rome, Spain, Gaul) and brought the word of God to people, accompanied by Presbyter Rusticus and Deacon Eleutherius. At one of their sermons, they appeared before the pagan authorities, after which they were immediately taken into custody. The arrest occurred due to the fact that they preached to the people the doctrine of Christianity.

The legend of the creation of the statue

His sculpture is located in the Montmartre area and this is no coincidence. According to legend, this name comes from the combination of several words: "mont", which means "mountain" and "martre", which has the same root sounding as the French concept of "martyr". That is why this area is considered to be the "Mountain of Martyrs", where in 259 the preachers were beheaded, one of whom was Bishop Dionysius.

According to legend, miracles occurred after the execution of the punishment. When Saint Dionysius got to his feet, he raised his severed head and headed north for many kilometers ahead. All this time the bishop read sermons. At some point, he stopped and showed the place where his remains should be buried. Later, the Abbey of Saint-Denis, famous today, was erected on that place. Only then did the preacher fall dead. And a God-fearing resident of the city named Catulla betrayed his remains to the ground.

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After the resurrection from the dead, he was recognized as a sacred martyr, and a monument corresponding to his image was erected at the place of his execution. Unfortunately, the history of its construction and information about the sculptors did not reach our times. It is only known that earlier, at the site of the erection of the statue, there was a fountain, where, according to rumors, the first bishop of France washed his own head.

Memory of Saint Dionysius

Veneration of the bishop arose immediately after the execution. Saint Dionysius to this day is considered to be the patron saint of Paris. Moreover, annually, on October 9, the day of his memory is appointed, when every resident of the city or tourist can go to his sculpture and pay tribute.

Getting there

Address: 2B Impasse Girardon, Paris 75018
Metro: Lamarck - Caulaincourt
Bus: Moulin de la Galette, Saules Cortot, Square Caulaincourt