Text of the page
The abbey protects itself
The foundation of a college of canons
The royal presence declines
Over time, within the shelter afforded by its walls, the castellum Sancti Dionysii became a prosperous town. In 1008, the king granted the abbot "la justice du sang", i.e. the right to pass a death sentence within the town and its lands. The abbey thus became a commmunal seigniory, with the power to make decisions on military, fiscal, legal and economic matters.. With this, the monks became rivals of the lords of Montmorency, whose castellany stood at the gates of the castellum on the "land of Saint-Marcel". At the same time, the king renounced his thrice-yearly visits to Saint-Denis, where he held court on the occasion of the major religious festivals. He restored the domus - his residence near the basilica - to the monks, together with all of its outbuildings.
The buildings of the palace gradually disappeared, leaving room for an extension of both secular housing and the cemetery. The funerary churches underwent extensive architectural modifications, no doubt in connection with their new status as parish churches. The galleries that connected them were demolished and replaced with walls that, together with the churches, formed a boundary around which dwellings began to be built.
Additional areas of habitation developed on the outskirts of the castellum, due to the presence of either a church or a road. In Saint-Marcel
, the cemetery is brought closer to the parish church, built at some distance from the Merovingian necropolis. Next to the Saint-Martin church, the abbey founded the Saint-Denis-de-l'Estrée priory. In the eleventh century, this priory-along with the Saint-Remi and Saint-Quentin churches-would serve as a reference point to mark the abbey's territory, a space exempt from the authority of the Bishop of Paris.
End of the text of the page