Sainte-Chapelle 3.6 rating

  Cultural Attractions

Built in 1242-'48 by King Louis IX to house his collection of the relics of Christ, the Sainte-Chapelle is the crowning glory of the Palais de la Cité on the Île de la Cité. It is the pinnacle of Rayonnant Gothic architecture, featuring one of the most extensive 13th century stained glass collections in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its remarkable architecture.

Laid out on a simple linear plan without a transept and ambulatory, the church has 2 levels. The Sainte Chapelle soars upwards, measuring 36 m x 17 m x 42.5 m, with its spire rising to a height of 75.75 metres above ground level. The western frontispiece is organized on 4 levels – 2 lower levels with portals, a Flamboyant rosette with stained glass depicting the Apocalypse which illuminates the upper chapel, and a gable flanked by turrets. The tympanum of the ground level portal features the Coronation of the Virgin, and the tympanum of the portal of the upper chapel features The Last Judgement. To the south, the wall of the oratory of Saint Louis is noted for its balustrade of lilies flanked by 2 projecting gargoyles. Below it is a small statue of the Virgin in a niche, which marks the top of the portal's gable. The gable is flanked by statues of Saint Louis and a bishop. The lead-clad roof has a statue of Saint Michael, and a wooden spire with an octagonal base. The façade features tall windows with ogival arches featuring trefoil patterns.

The breathtaking interiors feature richly colored vaults and gilt work. The soaring stained glass windows of the upper level beam abundant light onto the rich primary colors of the tile mosaics on the floor. The 15 metre high stained glass panels across 15 windows depict 1113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments, recounting the history of the world from Genesis through Christ's resurrection to the arrival of the relics in Paris. The 3 windows of the eastern apse illustrate the New Testament, featuring scenes of The Passion of Christ, Saint John the Evangelist and the Childhood of Christ, and the Life of John the Baptist and the Book of Daniel. The cycle starts at the western bay of the north wall with scenes from the Book of Genesis, followed by scenes from Exodus, Numbers/Leviticus, Book of Joshua, and the Book of Judges. The south wall has the Books of Jeremiah and Tobias, Books of Judith and Job, Book of Esther, Book of Kings, and the history of the relics. The shrine contained 22 relics of the Passion, including a fragment of the Holy Cross and the Crown of Thorns. They are now preserved in the treasury of the Notre-Dame de Paris.

The lower level has a darker ambience, with gilded ribbed vaulting that frames the interiors. The ceiling is painted deep blue with golden stars, evocative of the sky and heavens above. The nave has 4 bays, with walls featuring blind trefoil arcatures topped by an oculus, each of which contains a medallion featuring one of the 12 Apostles. Above the dado level, there are 12 larger-than-life-sized sculpted stone figures of the 12 Apostles.

Admission is €10, with free entry for children under 18 years, French residents aged 18-25 years, and disabled persons. Self-guided tour brochures are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Chinese and Portuguese. Audio guides are available in English, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese for an additional €3. Combined tickets for the Palais de la Cité's biggest attractions – Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie, are available for €15.

About Sainte-Chapelle

 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France

 Nearest Transit: Cité (Line No. 4)

 +33 1 53 40 60 80

Sainte-Chapelle and Nearby Attractions on Map

Nearby Attractions km / mile
Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum(0.9 km)
Housing one of the world's great museums since 1793, the Louvre Palace offers some dazzling architecture, wide public spaces and the glass pyramid of I M Pei.

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries(1.6 km)
Originally adjoining the now-disappeared royal palace of the Tuileries, these gardens lying immediately west of the Louvre offer a central open space for Parisians and visitors with semi-formal gardens (an outdoor gallery for modern sculpture), various cafés, ice-cream and crépe stalls and a summer fun fair.

Chapelle Notre Dame de la Medaille Miraculeuse
La Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Richelieu

La Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Richelieu(1.5 km)
The National Library, intended to be the repository of all that is published in France, preserves collections of historic documents of both French and international origin.

Atelier Brancusi

Atelier Brancusi(0.8 km)
Atelier Brancusi is a recreation of sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s studio, displaying his works in the same layout in which he had bequeathed his 15th arrondissement apartment at 11 impasse Ronsin to the French government.

Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens(1.3 km)
The Jardin du Luxembourg is a formal French garden with lush lawns, tree-lined promenades, terraces, chestnut groves, and ponds over an area of 23 hectares.

St. Etienne du Mont

St. Etienne du Mont(1 km)

Eglise Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet

Eglise Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet(0.8 km)
A controversial church serving as de facto headquarters of the arch-traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X, who occupied the church in 1977 and have ignored subsequent eviction orders.

15 Sainte-Chapelle Tickets and Tours in Paris

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