Porte Saint-Denis

Porte Saint-Denis

Porte Saint-Denis (1908).
Porte Saint-Denis (2011).

The Porte Saint-Denis is a Parisian monument located in the 10th arrondissement, at the site of one of the gates of the Wall of Charles V, one of the now-destroyed fortifications of Paris. It is located at the crossing of the Rue Saint-Denis continued by the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, with the Boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle and the Boulevard Saint-Denis.


The Porte Saint-Denis was designed by architect François Blondel and the sculptor Michel Anguier at the order of Louis XIV in honor of his victories on the Rhine and in Franche-Comté. Built in 1672 and paid for by the city of Paris, it replaced a medieval gate in the city walls built by Charles V in the 14th century.

A monument defining the official art of its epoque, the Porte Saint-Denis provided the subject of the engraved frontispiece to Blondel's influential Cours d'architecture, 1698.[1] It was restored in 1988.


The Porte Saint-Denis is a triumphal arch inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome. It is pierced by a large central arch and formerly by two much smaller flanking pedestrian openings in the pedestals, now closed off. The arch is flanked by obelisks applied to the wall face bearing sculptural groups of trophies of arms. Above the main arch, the southern face carries a sculptural group by Michel Anguier of "The Passage of the Rhine" in a sunk panel, while the north face carries allegorical figures of the Rhine and the Netherlands. The entablature bears the gilded bronze inscription LUDOVICO MAGNO, "To Louis the Great".


The monument is 24.65 meters high, 25 meters wide, and five meters deep. The arch is 15.35 meters high at the center and eight meters wide.