Set a few meters from the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle may be the most magical historic monument in Paris. Safe from looks, within the Palais de la Cité, between the Law Court and the Conciergerie, this gothic masterpiece delivers a magnificent show when the sun shines and hits the stained-glass windows.
Built within seven years, between 1241 and 1248, the Sainte-Chapelle used to house the Crown of Thorns and other relics of the Passion, bought in 1239 by Louis IX. And to keep these Christian treasures, the Church builds a 33-m long and 42.5-m high (spire excluded) building and adorns it with 1,113 stained-glass windows to let the light in from all the sides of the building. These holy relics have almost all disappeared during the Revolution, excluding the Crown of Thorns and the piece from the Cross, usually kept in the treasure of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral.
These stained-glass windows, wonderful creations from the 13th century are made of colored glass creating a grid of lead, shaping panels of different shapes disclosing scenes of the Old Testament and the Passion of the Christ. The large western rose window set at the top of the monument tells the future times and the Apocalypse. The stained-glass windows in blue and yellow hues are younger and date back to the 15th century, hence the difference in colors with the rest, more purple-ish at the time.
Divided into two parts, the building enjoys two chapels. In the low chapel (or chapelle basse), you have the statue of the Virgin, patron saint of the sanctuary, as well as decors restored in the 19th century, and a fresco from the 13th century displaying the Annunciation. This is the oldest mural painting in Paris. Open to servants of the palace in the Middle-Ages, it used to be used as a ground level for the high chapel that was for the sovereign. The latter houses the reliquary richly decorated, and the famous stained-glass windows, giving the building all its glory and magic. When the sun shines, the colors of the stained-glass windows are reflected on the floor and adorn the inside of the huilding with a mystical aura.
If the monument sounds religious, this is also the flag-bearer of the French prestige in medieval Europe! To learn more about it, carry on and visit the Conciergerie, the last remnants, with the Sainte Chapelle, of the former Palais de la Cité, a genuine well of knowledge.
Dates and Opening Time
Starts 14 July 2022
4 Boulevard du Palais
75001 Paris 1
- 26 ans: Free
Plein tarif: €12.5