The Sainte-Chapelle of Paris - in Photos

Posted on 01. Apr, 2013 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, France, Photo Posts

The Sainte-Chapelle had been a long standing item on my Paris to-do list, but for some reason, I’d never got around to it. I had deemed Notre-Dame and Sacré-Coeur more worthy of my attention - the former for its free entry, and the latter for the views.

It wasn’t until my most recent trip to Paris that I finally managed to visit the gorgeous Ile de la Cité, skip Notre-Dame altogether, and focus my visit on the well-hidden Sainte-Chapelle.

I could go on and on about the history and architecture of the place, but few words could render the beauty of this chapel as eloquently as picture would. See for yourself.

Photos of Sainte-Chapelle - The Lower Chapel

The Sainte-Chapelle was built sometime around the late 1200s for a precise reason: the King Louis IX of France wanted to house the Relics of Crucifixion he’d just bought. Relics included the crown of thorns, fragments of the Holy Cross as well as instruments of torture. The King wanted to keep these holy relics under one roof - his roof, that is. The chapel was consequently built in the heart of the Royal Palace on Ile de la Cité, in order to emphasize the close relationship of religion and monarchy.

Oddly enough, the Sainte-Chapelle is made of two different chapels - a darker, smaller one on the ground floor, and the most famous, grand one on the first floor. Both are interesting and awe-inducing in their own way. It’s as if you got to visit two different chapels for the price of one!

The Lower Chapel is actually home to the oldest wall paintings in all of Paris, the Annunciation. Historically, the Lower Chapel was reserved for parish services, as well as a worship place for the inhabitants of the Royal Palace.

photos of sainte-chapelle

Photos of Sainte-Chapelle - The Upper Chapel

The Upper Chapel was always the most prestigious, grandiose one of the two. That’ where the relics were housed at the time, in a large and elaborate massive silver chest, which costed 100,000 livres - the entire chapel, in contrast, costed 3 time less.

Because of its spectacular architecture, the Sainte-Chapelle is considered one of the finest examples of Rayonnant Gothic, because of its seemingly weightless structure and its very tall stained glass windows. These windows depict, as in most religious buildings, scenes from the biblical history. More specifically, in this case, the iconography strongly focuses on the New Testament (eastern apse), the Old Testament (the nave) and the Book of Genesis (northern wall). The rosary, on the eastern wall, recreates the moment where King Louis IX himself brought the relics inside the chapel.

Unfortunately,  I wasn’t able to fully grasp the grandeur of the Upper Chapel during my visit as the northern wall was undergoing renovations. I can very well imagine just how impressive and spiritual this place can be in its full glory, though.

photos of sainte-chapelle

photos of sainte-chapelle

photos of sainte-chapelle

The Sainte-Chapelle - Good to Know

  • The Sainte-Chapelle is actually located within the Courts of Justice of Paris. Therefore there is a mandatory security check.
  • Entry is free for EU residents of under 26, and youngsters under 18 years old.
  • Make sure to visit between 10AM and 4PM - that’s when the light will be at its best in the upper chapel.
  • Be patient - queues to get in the Chapel can last up to an hour.
  • There are free guided visits available - check schedule when buying tickets (schedule changes seasonally)

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Paris Visitors Bureau. As always, all opinions are my own.

Have you visited the Sainte-Chapelle? What is your favorite religious building in Paris?

email

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 Responses to “The Sainte-Chapelle of Paris - in Photos”

  1. Jenna

    02. Apr, 2013

    Gorgeous. I studied the Sainte-Chapelle as an art history major but have not visited it. This is the nicest collection of photos I have seen of it.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Cheryl

    02. Apr, 2013

    Beautiful photos! Looks like a lovely place to visit.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      08. Apr, 2013

      It really was, despite the renovations. I can only imagine how gorgeous it is in its full glory!

      Reply to this comment
  3. Lance

    02. Apr, 2013

    This isn’t always on the radar of travelers to Paris but it should be. It’s so beautiful and once you’re in it doesn’t require a lot of time. This was an advantage to having the Paris Museum Pass for our most recent trip. I’m not sure we would have visited if not for having the pass that gives access to many attractions in Paris. Your photos are beautiful.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      08. Apr, 2013

      Thank you Lance. I’m glad you like the photos!

      Reply to this comment
  4. Rosemary Kneipp

    05. Apr, 2013

    It is a lovely place. One of the best ways to appreciate it is to go to a concert in the evening, particularly during the long summer evenings - no queues even though I’ve heard better music!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      08. Apr, 2013

      I wish I’d known about the concerts - sounds magical!

      Reply to this comment
  5. Jenna

    11. Apr, 2013

    Love Sainte-Chapelle! The last time I visited it was under construction as well. It was a bit disappointing after seeing it without the construction first, but it’s still such a pretty place! Great photos!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Lyn

    15. Apr, 2013

    I visited St Chapelle on my first visit to Paris recently, I can’t wait to go back again. Thank you the beautiful photos. Mine were a disappointment to me.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      18. Apr, 2013

      Thank you Lyn. It was actually pretty hard to get good photographs because half the chapel was under repair, but I chose to focus on the details instead :)

      Reply to this comment
  7. Jose G. Aguilar

    05. Jan, 2014

    Hi Marie, congratulations on such beautiful photos. I visited the Sainte Chapelle in 2014 and will be visiting Paris again in May. My sister and brother-in-law will also be visiting. I had suggested to my sister a visit to the chapel and after seeing your photographs, i am certainly going to visit it again. I hope they will too. Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      06. Jan, 2014

      Glad to help! Luckily the renovation works will be done too, giving you a more complete tour of the Chapelle. Have fun! :-)

      Reply to this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Paris Day Trip: Parc de Sceaux - A passion for France - The Sainte-Chapelle of Paris | Aussie in France - April 9, 2013

    [...] It wasn’t until my most recent trip to Paris that I finally managed to visit the gorgeous Ile de la Cité, skip Notre-Dame altogether, and focus my visit on the well-hidden Sainte-Chapelle. Read more [...]

Leave a Reply