Louis IX of France [St Louis, Saint-Louis]

(1215 -1270)

Coronation of Louis IX

King of France from 1226 to 1270. A member of the Capetian dynasty, he was born on April 25, 1215 at Poissy, France, the son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile. His father died when Louis was eleven years old and he was crowned in 1226 in the cathedral at Reims . His mother acted as Regent until 1234 and continued as an important counselor to the king until her death in 1252. Louis married on May 27, 1234, Marguerite de Provence (1221 - December 21, 1295).

Louis' patronage of the arts drove much innovation in Gothic art and architecture, and the style of his court radiated throughout Europe by both the purchase of art objects from Parisian masters for export and by the marriage of the king's many daughters to foreign husbands and their subsequent introduction of Parisian models elsewhere. Louis' personal chapel, the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, was copied more than once by his descendants elsewhere. Louis went on crusades twice, in 1248 and then in 1270.

Louis was the elder brother of Charles I of Sicily (1227-1285), whom he created count of Anjou, thus founding the second Angevin dynasty.

He died near Tunis on August 25, 1270. His finger is interred at Saint Denis Basilica but most of his body is buried in Tunisia. Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed the canonization of Louis in 1297 ; he is the only French monarch ever to be made a saint. He was succeeded by his son, Philippe III.

The city of Saint Louis, Missouri, Lac Saint-Louis in Quebec, and the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in California are named for him.


Joinville (1224-1317), biographer of Saint-Louis, presenting his book to the dauphin.

IIA: Troubadours, Trouvères and Minnesingers