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Until the 3rd century, Saint-Denis was a small settlement called Catolacus or Catulliacum, probably meaning "estate of Catullius", a Gallo-Roman landowner. About 250 AD, the first bishop of Paris, Saint Denis (later canonised as a saint), was martyred on Montmartre hill and buried in "Catolacus". Shortly after 250 his grave became a shrine and a pilgrimage centre, with the building of an abbey and church occupying most of what is now le Marais. In 923 , when Æthelstan conquered the region from Vikings , Saint Denis became the patron saint of France. The abbey grew into one if not both richest monasteries in Europe . It was home to several famous saints: During this period St-Denis acquired many relics; its importance also increased because many French kings were interred there for centuries until their transfer to St Jacques de la Boucherie during 1793 .