Sainte-Chapelle (La)

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by rufusni on July 17, 2007

Tucked into the Palais de Justice on Ile de la Cite, this 13th century church is a gem that many people miss. It was built as a royal chapel for Louis IX to hold various relics he had acquired including Christ's crown of thorns. The chapel has two levels - the lower level was to serve as a parish church for the palace but the upper level was reserved for the royal family. The unknown architect of this Gothic building in the rayonnant style designed the structure as to maximise the size of the windows.

The upper chapel seems to have walls of stained glass held up by fine pillars. The rich colour of the stained glass is magnificent and photos cannot convey its splendour as the colour of light splashes across the chapel. The pictures windows is in depicts scenes from the Bible and there are also carved wooden sculptures of the apostles.

This is such an amazing example of Gothic architecture and stained glass - more stunning than its near neighbour, Notre Dame. It is beautiful and worth taking time to admire the stained glass - there are seats around the edge of the chapel to sit and admire in silence. Unfortunately, its difficult to capture the colour of the glass in your own photos unless you are carrying around amazing camera equipment, so its worth picking up some postcards of the chapel. I have to say I spent quite a bit of time sitting and admiring the detail of the windows, which are incredibly elaborate and simply divine.

The church is within the Palais de Justice complex and consequently there is a security screening, which I had to queue to get through for a few minutes, but there wasn't a huge queue. Tickets cost 6euro (there are also reduced tickets for students, teachers) but is also part of Paris Museum Pass.

4 boulevard du Palais
Paris, France, 75001
+33 (1) 5340 6080

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