Sainte-Chapelle is an intimate chapel on the IÎe de la Cité in Paris known for its magnificent stained glass windows from the 13th century. I have been fortunate to have been able to visit this chapel twice and if I visit Paris again, it will be on my list of the top things to see. This is my favorite site is Paris, even if not one of the most well-known. This chapel is a stunning example of the Rayonnant Gothic architecture style and was commissioned by Louis IX of France as a chapel for the royal palace and to keep his collection of relics from the Passion, which included Christ’s Crown of Thorns.
When we first began planning our trip to London and Paris, this was on my “must see” list even though we had visited the chapel once before back in 2013. I was hoping for a sunny day, as this only heightens your experience at the chapel. We got our wish with a sunny. pleasant day in the high seventies and were off to see Sainte-Chapelle.
I chose very simple attire for the day, wearing cropped black trousers and a gray tee shirt. This was a day I felt like blending into the background because of the all of the detail and rich colors we would be seeing at the chapel. Cropped trousers from Target and a Michael Stars tee shirt were the perfect choice for the day. The tee, made of viscose and polyester, is super soft and has a nice drape which lends a dressy look to a basic tee. If the weather cools down in the evening, as it tends to do in Paris, you can simply add a cardigan for warmth. This will also dress up the outfit for a relaxing outdoor cafe dinner after a full day of sightseeing. The Taos Trulie sandal is one of the most comfortable sandals I own and are perfect for a long day on your feet. Take a peek at my earlier post London and Paris – It’s All About the Shoes to see why.
Now that we have our fashion forecast and weather forecast for the day, let’s set out to tour the chapel.
As you first enter the lower chapel, you are greeted with richly colored hues of blue, red, and gold. This lower chapel was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was the church for those who lived in the royal palace. The ceiling is a beautiful picture of golden fleurs de lys set against a deep blue background.
You then climb a narrow staircase to enter the royal chapel with its stunning stained glass collection which illustrates both the Old and New Testaments up through to the arrival of the Passion relics in Paris.
The chapel suffered damage during the French Revolution, but amazingly, two-thirds of the stained glass windows are original.
In the 15th century, the rose window in the back of the chapel was added.
You are totally surrounded by light and color in the upper chapel as the sun shines through the 50-foot-high stained glass windows. As the sun changes position in the sky, the light and color in the chapel change with it. You definitely perceive a sense of weightlessness in this chapel, which is characteristic of the Rayonnant style of Gothic architecture. The divisions between the glass windows are very thin and most of the support comes from the exterior of the building in the form of buttresses.
The detail and colors of this chapel are truly amazing.
This beautiful display of light and color is what draws me back to visit. It is absolutely awe inspiring.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the beauty of Sainte-Chapelle as I truly enjoyed sharing it with you.
Until the next post, stay stylish and comfortable.