Located in the heart of Paris, France the Holy Chapel (Sainte Chapelle) sits on the Ile de la Cité near the more popular and well known Notre Dame Cathedral. Sainte Chapelle was originally built to house the King’s collection of ‘Passion (of the Christ)’ relics – most notably the crown of thorns (which now rests in Notre Dame but is only brought out on specific holidays) – and to give the royal family a place to worship without the lower class with them.
Sainte Chapelle has two distinct chapels – unfortunately, the lower chapel (but the much less intricately decorated chapel) was under construction during our visit but the primary reason that I wanted to visit was to see the masterpiece below. When we visited four years ago we were turned away at the doors as they were having a private event at the church so this was the first place we visited on this trip. The upper chapel did not disappoint and was even better than I could have imagined. The stained glass windows are amongst the finest examples in the world.
Stained Glass of Sainte-Chapelle (Paris, France)
There are fifteen stained glass windows in all – stretching fifty meters high into the air. Each window stretches fifty feet high and combined they display scenes from over 1,100 scenes in the bible. 2/3 of the windows are original and they were removed during World War II to protect them from the war so that people like me could be awestruck in seeing them today. Unfortunately, parts of this chapel were also under construction and the windows behind where I stood to take this picture, and the large rose window that dominates the back wall, were all covered by scaffolding as well.
I could write much more about Sainte Chapelle but I took a lot of photos in here so I’ll post more over time.