Located in the center of the city within the Palais de Justice complex on the Île de la Cite, La Sainte Chapelle (Holy ... More
Located in the center of the city within the Palais de Justice complex on the Île de la Cite, La Sainte Chapelle (Holy Chapel) is a small Gothic chapel constructed in the Rayonnant style. Built by King Louis IX from 1238-1244, the chapel housed holy relics from the Passion believed to be Jesus' Crown of Thorns and a piece of the True Cross. These items were purchased from the Byzantine emperor Baldwin II in 1239 for a huge sum of 135,000 livres (the church cost 40,000 livres to build) due to the King's desire to elevate France as the leader of Western Christianity. La Sainte Chapelle provides visitors with a spectacular visual experience, since the entire upper tier of the chapel is surrounded by enormous stained glass windows.
Get to Sainte Chapelle early so that you are one of the first few in the doors. Immediately go upstairs (you can enjoy the downstairs after). If you are as lucky as I was, you will be upstairs all alone. I have never been so moved and in such beauty. Notre Dame was amazing, but to have a real cathedral experience, come here.
Sainte Chappelle had a long line, even with a museum pass, and I guess I was just expecting more. It is pretty, but those claiming it is better than Notre Dame are crazy. I would go, but it is just OK has Europe's great churches go.
Built to house the Crown of Thorns [the actual thorns Christ wore on his head during the Passion], this Church is one of the hidden treasures of the world.
This is my most favorite church in the world - more so than the Sistine Chapel.
St. Chapelle is beautiful! It's a little hard to find as it is surrounded by the Palais de Justice, but both share the same entrace (but different lines). The lower floor may seem a bit drab, but once you make it up the clausterphobic spiral staircase, you'll be amazed by all the stained glass. Make sure to visit on a sunny day or you won't get the full experience.
but not worth the entrance fee. There was construction going on while we were there, and I think that cut back on the experiece quite a bit as it limited the amount of sun shining through the glass. If you have the museum pass, it's probably worth a visit, but the admission fee seemed a bit steep for how small the place was.
Beautiful stainglass and lots of it. Go on a really sunny day for the best view. Use as part of your museum pass and you don't have to pay extra-I don't think it would have been worth it if I would of had to pay extra to see it. It is beautiful though and I'm glad I went.
I've been to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and many other places in Paris, but the place I always remember and return to on every visit is Ste Chapelle. When you enter the lower chapel you may think the church dull, as there is little glory other than the ceiling vault painted with stars. However, once you ascend to the upper chapel, you will enter perhaps the most beautiful church you have ever seen. This is Gothic architecture at its best. It seems that there is nothing but glass holding up the roof. You are surrounded by red and blue light streaming in from every direction. "Read" the windows from your lower left to your upper right . They will take you from Creation to Apocalypse. Make sure to go out on the balcony.
Ste Chapelle was created by the King of France Louise IX (Saint Louis, or if you are from my corner of America, San Luis Rey).
Public concerts often occur in the Upper Chapel.
When entering La Sainte Chapelle we found ourselves quite disappointed - we had been told that this was one of the most beautiful churches in Paris - and frankly it didn't appear so... But to our amazement the 1st floor chapel was astonishingly beautiful - and worth the entrance fee. We are definitely coming back to admire this beautiful church. Go there - you won't regret it.
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