Before the Revolution and its anti-religious sentiment, Franciade was once called Saint-Denis. According to legend, during the 3rd century, Saint Denis was beheaded and martyred in Montmartre, which didn't not stop him from walking with his disembodied head under his arm to the village of Catolacus where he finally collapsed and was buried. This site would become known as Saint-Denis. Famous for its influential church and abbey, populated by abbots who were advisors to the monarchy, Saint-Denis flourished until the Revolution. By 1794, it had adopted the atmosphere of a ghost town.