La Sainte Chapelle: A History


La Sainte Chapelle: A Chapel Fit for a King

Right next to one of the most beautiful cathedrals of the world is one of the most beautiful chapels of the world. La Sainte Chapelle, standing on Ile de la Cité, has a beautiful medieval style and even more beautiful stained glass windows. This is the chapel that you find over and over again when you search travel on Pinterest. This is also the chapel that always has at least an hour long wait to get inside, rain or shine. So here is some history of this chapel that has caught the eye of many.

13th Century Beginnings 

The Sainte Chapelle was built in the 13th Century. It was built to have two layers, the upper chapel, known for its stained glass windows, and the lower chapel, known for its gold and blue painted ceiling. The stained glass depicts scenes from the Bible, such as the Passion of Christ. And every inch of the walls is covered in paintings depicting religious scenes as well.

Built for a King

The Sainte Chapelle was built during the reign of Louis IX, who had ordered many religious constructions and relics to be built. Because of his artistic campaigns and his dedication to Catholicism, he was the most reliable, and therefore central, monarch in Christendom. Eventually, Louis IX became Saint Louis.

Low Chapel Ceiling

Damaged During the Revolution

During the French Revolution, many of the stained glass windows were broken, the steeple was removed, and many of the relics were taken from the chapel. But the 19th and 20th Centuries oversaw the reconstruction of the chapel. Today two thirds of the original chapel remains, the rest is a reconstruction.

High Chapel Altar and Stained Glass Windows

Book your tickets ahead of time to avoid the long lines. Otherwise buy a conjoined ticket next door at the Conciergerie to skip the line.

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