"Seek out this gothic masterpiece!" Sainte-Chapelle Tip by tiabunna

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris: 144 reviews and 351 photos

  Sainte Chapelle from in front of the law courts
by tiabunna
 
  • Sainte Chapelle from in front of the law courts - Paris
      Sainte Chapelle from in front of the law courts
    by tiabunna
  • Lower level, Sainte-Chapelle - Paris
      Lower level, Sainte-Chapelle
    by tiabunna
  • Ethereal glass and stonework, upper level - Paris
      Ethereal glass and stonework, upper level
    by tiabunna
  • Rose window, upper level - Paris
      Rose window, upper level
    by tiabunna
 

On our previous visits to Paris, we had missed the Sainte-Chapelle. It isn’t hard to do, given that it is tucked between the law courts (Palais de Justice) Main photo. From the square in front of Notre Dame, little more than the spire is visible. I was determined to get there on this visit. Be prepared for the full security treatment (open bags, metal detectors etc), as the entry to the Sainte-Chapelle is shared with the courts!

Louis IX (Saint Louis) had the Sainte-Chapelle built to house the purported ‘Crown of Thorns’ he had purchased from the Emperor of Constantinople. Construction of this masterpiece of gothic architecture took six years and was finished in 1242. A cynic would suggest that the Emperor knew a few things about selling (or that Louis was an easy mark), because the religious relic cost more than four times as much as the building (and imagine what that would cost now)!

The ground floor with its vaulted ceilings and incredible paintwork Photo 2 provides a stunning entry, now largely occupied by the souvenir desk which has a good selection of guide books and other tourist material. Now head up the stairs and you will find yourself in the delicate stonework and excellent stained glass of the upper level Photos 3,4. It is indeed a breathtaking place: now try to comprehend that, during the Revolution, the building was used to store flour!

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, Staint-Michel, or Châtelet. RER: Chatelet -Les-Halles, Saint-Michel
Phone: 01 53 73 78 50
Website: http://www.pbase.com/francist/chap&page=all

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 14, 2006
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