" Soldiers, I am pleased with you... "
The Maison d'éducation de la Légion d'Honneur is situated inside the royal abbey of Saint-Denis. A religious community settled in the Middle-Ages, near the gravestone of saint Denis, to look after it and to welcome pilgrims. Thanks to powerful abbeys and to the protection from the French kings, the spiritual reputation of the abbey goes beyond the frontiers of the kingdom.The overall structure, rebuilt on many occasions, takes its current shape in the 18th century.
In 1791, the Convention suppresses the monastic orders. The abandoned buildings are threatened to be destroyed. Whilst visiting Saint-Denis, Napoleon the First decides to convert them into a second institution for the education of young ladies (the first being Écouen), both designed to welcome the daughters of his soldiers who died in battle.
The public institution still works according to those rules. Every year, around five hundred pupils from the Secondary, daughters and grand-daughters of individuals having received the Légion d'honneur do their schooling there. The current building, built in the 1980s, blends in with the overall remarkable architectural structure, based around the cloister.
The park of the Maison d'éducation de la Légion d'honneur is not open to the public, except on special visits. However, le parc de la Légion d'Honneur.
Maison de la Légion d'Honneur5, rue de la Légion d'Honneur
Guided visits with advance bookings only at the Office de tourisme de Saint-Denis Plaine Commune : +33 (0)1 55 870 870 http://www.saint-denis-tourisme.com/
By Métro 13, ligne 13 : basilique de Saint-Denis
By car : link to interactive map