Located on Paris’s Île de la Cité in the Palais de Justice, Sainte-Chapelle was commissioned around 1240 by King Louis IX to house his collection of Passion relics, which included the Crown of Thorns, fragments of the True Cross and 39 other items.  (What remained of the relics after the Revolution are now housed in Notre Dame.)  The upper chapel is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and is home to the largest collection of 13th century stained glass anywhere in the world.  The windows tell stories from both the Old and New Testaments as well as the rediscovery and preservation of the relics.  Definitely visit on a sunny day.

The lower chapel is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  Every surface is adorned with color and pattern; unfortunately, the original stained glass windows were removed then replaced after waters from the Seine flooded the chapel in 1690.  A narrow stone staircase takes visitors upstairs and, I must say, stepping into the upper chapel, the beauty of the room took my breath away.

(I know the images show a bit of blur; my little point-and-shoot camera couldn’t quite overcome the different light levels.)

“The true fruit of travel is perhaps the feeling of being nearly everywhere at home.”–Freya Stark

6 thoughts on “Sainte-Chapelle

  1. french cravings

    It’s such a beautiful place! I’m a bit of a fool for history, so I couldn’t resist. Glad you liked it! I also enjoy the chapel St.-Germain-de-Pres, which is a totally different design.


  2. Paulita Kincer

    What a great blog. your I’m happy to have found you. Sainte Chapelle is one of my favorite places in Paris and your blue photos really captured the magic. Thanks for participating in Dreaming of France.


  3. Louise Treloar

    Saint Chapelle was certainly one of my favourite places on my last Paris visit in 2010. My then 9 year old son was moved to take photos for the very first time. It’s breathtaking. I’m looking forward to taking my mother there on our next visit next year.


    1. Katie Schwausch Post author

      How wonderful that your son found inspiration in such a beautiful place. My kids felt the same about when we visited Notre Dame the first time. They have yet to see Saint Chapelle as the lines were ridiculously long for two boys wait through. We will definitely visit next trip.


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