A gothic architectural gem: Sainte Chapelle, Paris

One of the most beautiful, exquisite chapels that I have ever visited has to be Sainte-Chapelle, in the center of Paris. This gem of the gothic architecture is hidden in Ile-de-la-cite, Paris.

I had seen street signs pointing to this church before; there are so many beautiful churches in Paris that I never thought about going there. Last year, as I sat chatting with a friend over dinner, he casually mentioned Sainte-Chapelle and its beautiful stained glass windows. I have been able to visit it a couple of times since then.

A little history here: Sainte-Chapelle was built between 1242 and 1248 to house the relics of Passion of Christ by the king, Louis IX (later beatified as Saint Louis). Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie, are the only visible remains of the oldest palace of kings of France.

The building houses two sanctuaries – the lower chapel, for the palace staff and the upper chapel, for the king and his close friends and family. The upper chapel is airy, monumental and exquisitely decorated with sculptures and thin lattice framework supporting the stained glass till the ceiling. In every home, there is usually a personal place of worship and/or meditation; Sainte-Chapelle was the royal palatine chapel for Louis IX.

I have tried to record the architecture details, the XIIIth century stained glass, and the beauty that I see in Sainte-Chapelle. Photos are slowly being added to be viewed as a slide show in my Sainte-Chapelle gallery. But, photographs do not always do justice.

Hopefully, when you visit Paris, you will able to experience Sainte-Chapelle for yourself. Happy travels!

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