Notre Dame de Paris is the most famous church building of the capital. And it is stunning, indeed!
La Sainte Chapelle, or the Holy Chapel, is only a few hundred meters away and is a gothic jewel not to be missed.
It is early morning when we start queuing a few minutes before its opening hours at the entrance of the Sainte Chapelle on Ile de la Cité. Being the first ones, we speed up a bit in a dark and narrow stair case before arriving in the naturally lit chapel with its high ceilings. The early morning sunlight shines through hundreds of detailed and beautiful stain glass windows.
Completed in only 9 years between 1239 and 1248, it was built to store the relics of the Christ bought by the French king Saint Louis to Baldwin II, the Latin emperor of Constantinople. Act of faith, but also a very smart political move, purchasing the Crown of Thorns of the Christ made the French kingdom the pillar of the western Christendom.
Admiring the chapel, one can’t help but notice how little stone wall surface was built to frame the huge mid-13th-century stained glass windows, telling the stories of the Old and New Testaments and the Book of Genesis.
- Arrive before the opening and visit it on a sunny morning for the best light.
- When purchasing the ticket, you can buy a discounted ticket for La Conciergerie, a few metres away that used to be a royal palace before becoming a scary jail.
- Check out this interactive map for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area (short tutorial)!
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