Hidden inside a bigger building, the Sainte-Chapelle looks just like another church from the outside. However when you reach the second floor you discover this is one of the absolute gems of Paris.
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INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Sainte-Chapelle church
Sainte-Chapelle was built in the 12th century upon the order of King Saint-Louis to house the relics of the Crucifixion.
The church is a gothic structure with 2 levels. The upper chapel is covered in 600 m² of stained-glass windows, of which two thirds are authentic. They have just be renovated and are magnificent.
It was consacrated in 1248.
I love it so much that I have included in many of my suggestions of 3 days itineraries for Paris.
Sainte-Chapelle from the outside
I asked around and the Sainte-Chapelle is not really well-known by French people. I personnaly had not idea it existed. I was walking around after visiting Notre-Dame when I saw a queue of tourists. During lunch break I read about it and decided to join the queue. I don't regret for a second, this is my second favorite place in Paris so far after the top of the Saint Jacques Tower.
From the street, you can only see the top of the Sainte-Chapelleabove the rest of the Law Courts building.
Once inside the Law Courts building, you can see one side of the church and already notice the different proportions from classic churches.
This is the facade. The size of the rosace is promising...
There are gargoyles all around and there shapes are really intriguing:
Inside theyre is a screen where you can discover better the building and its history
Lower chapel of Sainte Chapelle church
The ground level was dedicated to parish services.
As you enter the first level of Sainte-Chapelle, you realise right away that is it not a typical church. The first level has a low ceiling. The rock is covered with Blue and gold decoration.
Every single inch is heavily decorated
Then it is time to discover the upper chapel:
Second floor: the WOW moment
After climbing few steps, everyone arriving in the upper chapel shouts WOW!!!!! I am not kidding and stayed near the staircase to feel the amazement of the people.
The whole place is covered in stained glasses:
The floor is also very colorful:
The rosace of Sainte Chapelle
When you turn around you discover the sumptous rosace and its delicate scenes in the stained glass:
The doors to the terrace have nice details
And here is the view from the terrace with the double door arch heavily sculpted:
I sat there and inside for a lot of time just soaking the atmosphere.
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Magnificent, don't you think?