January 29, 2008

Sainte Chapelle

In order to visit the Sainte Chapelle (Holy Chapel), you have first to enter the Palais de Justice and go through a security control, similar to that of today’s airports. It’s worth it!

This is in my mind one of the world’s most beautiful buildings (inside) and somehow an extreme example of gothic architecture. It was constructed in the middle of the 13th century during the reign of Louis IX, who became Saint Louis due to a number of crusades and other by the Church well appreciated actions. The chapel was built to house a number of relics, like Christ’s Crown of Thorns, a piece of the Cross… The king paid four or five times more for the relics than it cost to build the chapel.

The chapel is built in two levels, both fabulously decorated. It is difficult to get a good total view as the chapel is squeezed in between other buildings.
The lower part was the parish church for the inhabitants of the Royal Palace. (The top picture is from this lower part.)
The upper part, then with direct access from the Palace, was for the King and whoever he invited and that’s where the relics were saved.
Of course the 1789 revolution had some unfortunate consequences for the chapel as for most religious buildings. The relics disappeared and the chapel was partly dilapidated. However, during the 19th century the stained glass windows which had been dismantled were restored (most of them have the original glass), the different statues which had been saved were put back and the whole decoration was restored as close as possible to what was thought to be the original one.

I would advise you to visit the place a sunny day to see the full splendour of the windows (As you can see from the outside photos, the sky was nicely blue the day I went). An alternative is to go an evening when concerts often are given.

As usual you can find the original pictures on my photo blog.
I got a "Best Friend" award from Noushy Syah yesterday! Sincere thanks Noushy!

39 comments:

oldmanlincoln said...

If I were getting married all over again and was in Paris and they allowed it, I would choose this place to be married in. It is beautiful.

Olivier said...

elle est magnifique, il y a vraiment de superbe tresor dans Paris. Merci de nous les faire connaitre.
(j'attends le passage sur l'ile st louis pour aller manger les glaces)

Tino Rossi nous a chante la Sainte Chapelle (mais cela ne doit pas etre la meme ;o) )
"Si j'étais la colombe aux blanches ailes
Je volerai tout droit vers mon amour
Je volerai vers celle
Qui, dans la sainte chapelle
Prie de me voir un jour à nouveau près d'elle
Vole colombe vers ma belle
Dis-lui qu'un jour
Je reviendrai...."

lyliane said...

Ma petite voiture a aimé se promener dans Paris et je suis passée hier devant la conciergerie toute éclairée, j'ai pensé que tu y étais pêut être, mais hélas la grande roue était démontée, ils enlevaient aussi les illuminations des champs Elysées.
Vendredi j'y retourne en train, pour profiter d'une journée chinoise.Bises

Nathalie said...

Je ne suis jamais entrée dans la Sainte Chapelle mais grâce à toi je découvre ce que j'ai manqué. C'est absolument magnifique !
Les infos complètent comme toujours parfaitement les photos.

hpy said...

J'aime beaucoup les couleurs de la première photo. Combien de temps avais-tu mis pour visiter la Ste Chapelle la première fois?

Peter said...

oldmanlincoln:
It's possible to go there just as a simple visitor!

olivier:
Ton répertoire est inépuisable !

lyliane:
Je t’avais averti pour la grande roue ! Je suis allé le dernier jour !

Peter said...

natahlie:
Pourtant tu étais si près l’autre jour (Place Dauphine) ! Donc, pour la prochaine fois à Paris !

hpy:
Une heure... Pourquoi?

Matritensis said...

Security control to visit a church? why?

Mathilde said...

Bonjour Peter,

Absolument grandiose, une mosaïque de vitraux, de nefs, de couleurs fraîches ou surannées. Honte à moi ! Je ne connais pas la Sainte chapelle. Moi qui entre dans toutes les églises croisant mon chemin, traquant le moindre reflet de lumière. Un œil posé sur chaque statue… Grâce à toi Peter, j’irai un jour….

Bonne journée à toi.

Peter said...

matritensis:
Because you are entering the Palais de Justice with different audience rooms etc. To enter with a weapon is not recommended.

mathilde:
Oui, honte à toi! Heureusement réparable! Il faut absolument y aller!

krystyna said...

Hi Peter!
First thank you for your kind visit.
This e-book about water is perfect! I like the author of this e-book, Dr. Ray. Strongli recommend you.

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Jessica Camis said...

You always takes such amazing photos and images of this quality from inside a church is quite impressive. It looks like a beautiful place.

krystyna said...

I had a Magical History Tour, Peter. You are one of the greates photo-historical writer of this generation. You showed me what I can't yet recognize in the pattern of the beauty architecture of France.
Thanks!
All the best to you!

Noushy Syah said...

Ohh?? Why do they have security control to visit the church? emm..

Wow,the inside of the church looks amazing! Beautifully made!

p/s Peter..actually you might think I have so many blogs, but in reality actually-just 2, coz the other 2 has no entries,just the buddies (link) and awards only.Since the links becoming longer and longer it spoiled the look of the page and takes more loading time, I just put all of them in one blog;)

Annie said...

If one ever doubted the wealth of the Catholic Church, one only has to see this fabulous place. Thanks for the introduction, Peter.

Peter said...

krystyna:
Thanks for your kind comments (twice) and also on my photo blog! You really studied the subject!

jessica:
With the help of the sun and my camera. ... and the place is really beautiful.

noushy:
I already commented on the security measures above. Yes, the inside is fabulous!

Peter said...

annie:
I'm not convinced about the ownership of this one. It was a royal chapel and has never belonged to the Church, as far as I know. It's now just a "museum" and concert place, inside the Palais de Justice.

Chuckeroon said...

..yes it is magnificent. I have never seen inside it until now.

BTW..I hope Louis got value for money. Is there any question whether or not he was ripped off?

SusuPetal said...

Beautiful and luxurious.

krystyna said...

Hi Peter, again!
I put the answer for your question in my comment section.

Sandy Maudlin said...

WOW! What a wonderful visual journey you take us on. It was very enjoyable to see all your photos and read your comments. Thank you so much.

hpy said...

Parce que!

Marguerite said...

L'image du haut donne l'impression d'être une tête couronnée sous une tiare. Somptueux.
Jour de soleil, OK pour en prendre plein les yeux, mais pas facile pour photographier les vitraux, non ?
Pratiquement, prend-on un billet groupé pour tout(comme à Beaubourg)ou uniquement pour la Ste Chapelle ?

A Vendredi, Peter !

Peter said...

marguerite:
Je pense qu'il faut le soleil pour bien voir comme les vitraux sont magnifiques. Le problème est que le soleil est d'un seul coté. Il faudrait deux soleils!

On peux prendre un billet combiné, mais il faut ressortir.

ruth said...

Ohh! you did the place justice (hehe). Gorgeous photos. There is nothing like sitting in the upstairs chapel against the wall during the day, "reading" all the windows telling the Bible stories. Just breathtaking. And then coming back for an evening concert with a small orchestra! You have really caught the warmth and the lovely colors so well. Thank you!

(I'm in bad shape about needing a Paris fix.)

Peter said...

ruth:
Hope then that you can make Paris soon again!

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fiji live aboard said...

The gothic columns of the church is marvelous. Its one great architectural wonder.

great barrier aboard said...

You can find antiques in the church thats why I think they have security control to guard the items.