La Sainte-Chapelle

Metro : Cité, Châtelet, Saint-Michel.

sainte chapelle
Saint-Chapelle, hidden right in the heart of medieval Paris on the Ile de la Cité, is a must-see for lovers of medieval history. Built at the behest of the king Saint-Louis between 1241 and 1248, its intended function was to be a magnificent showcase for the relics of Christ collected by the king, the most famous of which being the crown of thorns. The crown cost the king a fortune, (staggeringly) two times the cost of the church’s construction, the incredible relic being one of the most fascinating in the eyes of Christians. Architectural proof of the Saint-Chapelle’s importance can be found in its dimensions. Despite being relatively tiny in length and width it is equal in height to a great number of cathedrals. The interior of Sainte-Chapelle’s upper chapel is notable amongst other religious edifices for it’s lightness, the chapel seemingly bathed in light from the 15 near floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows which surround it. To merely stand in the upper chapel on a sunny day is an experience in itself. Like so many other Parisian treasures, those of the Saint-Chapelle were devastated during the French Revolution, most of the relics are today lost. The church itself suffered great damage and its organ was transferred to the Parisian church Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois. It wasn’t until 1846, after a considerable amount of restoration work, that the Sainte-Chapelle reclaimed its former glory.
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churches of paris

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