Dec 14th, 2023, 03:00 PM

Saint Denis in Photos

By Emma Huggins
Celebrating the site of the Paris 2024 Olympic Village

Saint-Denis, the northern suburb of Paris, has been making headlines recently for the big role it will play in the Paris 2024 Olympics. The Olympic Village is currently under construction five minutes from the commune’s Stade de France. It will accommodate 14,000 athletes, a unique joining of young people worldwide under the same roof. 

However, its complex reputation has raised questions and speculation as to why the Olympic Village has been placed there and how well that will be carried out. The city is infamous for being one of the poorest in France, with over 25 percent of residents below the poverty line. It has comparatively higher crime rates than surrounding communes and was a central target in the 2015 attacks. 

Solideo, the company managing the construction of Saint Denis’ Olympic Village, makes promises of long-lasting infrastructure that will serve the city’s residents post-games. The proposal includes affordable housing, public recreation centers, and renovated outdoor spaces. Yet, as seen in previous Olympic games, these promises for infrastructure with the future in mind may not be entirely feasible. Was Saint Denis chosen as a hosting hub with hopes of a promising future? Or was it simply the cheaper option?

Regardless of the reasoning for its selection, Saint-Denis will soon host athletes and spectators alike from around the globe. As complex as its history, the city is a cultural hub. Home to the Saint Denis Basilica, the largest local vendor market in the Paris region, green spaces, and a rich diverse population, it is a suburb that deserves appreciation.

Basilica of Saint-Denis, completed in 1144, is the burial site of Saint-Denis in addition to 42 kings, 32 queens, and 63 princes and princesses in its archaeological crypt. The former abbey featured typical Gothic high ceilings and stained glass windows and was once a necropolis for French royalty. (Image Credits: Emma Huggins)

Saint-Denis hosts one of the largest markets in the Paris region with over 300 vendors selling everything including cheese, fish, produce, and meats. (Image Credits: Emma Huggins)
The Parc de la Légion d'Honneur is one of Saint-Denis’s many green spaces and is host of an tulip festival each year. (Image Credits: Emma Huggins)