The Sainte Chapelle is often overlooked by visitors to Paris. Thousands flock to Notre Dame just a few hundred metres away, some go further and wander around the beautiful Ile de la Cité, but the Sainte Chapelle, hidden away inside the grounds of the law courts, can go unnoticed.
Built in 1248 upon the orders of the King Saint-Louis, the Sainte Chapelle was to originally built to house the crown of thorns (today you can see this inside Notre Dame Cathedral). It’s a masterpiece of gothic architecture, and is probably most famous for it’s 600m2 of stained glass windows.
A huge restoration project on the windows has just been completed (April 2015) and they are spectacular. Two thirds of the glass is original. The Sainte Chapelle is small, and the effect of the light streaming in through the glass is breathtaking, filling the space with light and colour.
Next time don’t pass by! Look out for the spire as you pass the law courts on the Ile de la Cité. The lines can get long, so buy a timed entry ticket online, you don’t need long for the visit and it really is something very special.
- Sainte Chapelle, 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris
Open daily 09:30 – 18:00 (17:00 in winter)