"Miracle of light and space" Sainte-Chapelle Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris: 146 reviews and 360 photos

by TheWanderingCamel

The little two-tiered church of Saint Chapelle is, to my mind, the most beautiful building in all Paris. Built by France's saint-king, Louis IX, in 1248, to house the Crown of Thorns and other precious relics acquired at enormous cost from the Emperor of Byzantium (now housed in the Treasury of Notre Dame), the two chapels are at the same time in complete contrast and completely complementary to each other.

The lower chapel, intended for use by the household servants, with its low vaulted ceiling, walls painted in darkly rich colours, gilding and small high windows, is the very image of a kingly mediaeval chapel, a lovely little jewel box.

The Upper Chapel is nothing short of breathtaking. So cleverly has the architect designed its soaring pillars and windows, the supporting structure is barely noticeable and the walls seems to be made solely of the most exquisite stained glass while the delicately vaulted ceiling floats above you. With sunlight pouring through the tall windows it truly is a miracle of light and space. Two-thirds of the glass is original, a miracle in itself given the turbulent history of the city the chapel graces so perfectly. No photo can do it justice -you really will have to go and see it for yourself.


Address: Boulevard du Palais
Directions: Sainte-Chapelle is inside the Palais of Justice on Ile de le Cité-- a few minute walk from Notre Dame.
Métro : Cité, Saint-Michel, or Châtelet.
Open every day, 9.30 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. (closed Jan. 1, May 1, Dec. 25).

Phone: 01 53 73 78 50
Website: http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/Cathedrals/Paris/Sainte-Chapelle.shtml

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 26, 2007
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