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Basilica of St Denis

Constance of Castile (1136-1160)

The recumbent effigy of Constance de Castille © Jean-Christophe Ballot / Centre des monuments nationauxInfanta of Castillo, daughter of Alphonse VII, king of Castillo and Léon, wife of Louis VII

Constance of Castillo, a young Spaniard  known for her extensive culture, arrived in France in 1154 and married King Louis VII. The king recently split from Alienor of Aquitaine, who asked and obtained the annulation of their marriage. Constance died in childbirth without giving a male heir to her husband.

Constance de Castille was buried at Saint-Denis. Her ashes were collected in 1263 when Saint Louis decided to reunite the remains of her ancestors. The set of recumbent statues is known as "la commande de saint Louis". Her recumbent is inscribed "CONSTANTIA REGINA QVE VENIT DE ISPANIA", Queen Constance from Spain.

During the French Revolution, the statue of Constance was kept in the Musée des Petits-Augustins, before being returned to the Saint-Denis basilica in 1817.

The remains of Louis VII can be found in the Bourbon vault in the crypt.

Constance of Castile - wife of Louis VII the Younger

Constance of Castile - wife of Louis VII the Younger - © SSDT

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