Located just around the corner from Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle seems unsuspecting.
First of all, it’s located in the middle of the block. If you look for it, you can see the gothic spire towering above the government buildings it’s surrounded by.
If you actually know about it and decide to go in, your first thought might be disappointment. The first-floor rooms are dark and not exceptionally captivating. As you take a small spiral staircase upstairs, you might be wondering why this place is so great after all.
But once you enter the main room of the chapel upstairs, you finally see what all the fuss is about.
Stained glass in rich purples, reds, and blues cover every square inch of wall space, stretching practically from the floor up to the ceiling, where gilded beams arc on the patterned canvas of the roof. The set of 15 windows display over 1,000 Biblical scenes.
If you can manage to draw your glance from the infinite glass windows, you will be drawn to countless other details competing for your attention.
At eye level, intricate gilded arches echo the ceiling art and patterned deep purple and red paints paper the walls. Intricately painted figurines further adorn the room.
Accentuating the colorful artwork and regal gold design are time-honored chandeliers, which set the ambiance by casting a solemn and reverent light on this prestigious 13th century chapel.
No doubt you will be in awe as you admire this so-named “Holy Chapel” that was built to house ancient relics of the Christian faith, such as Christ’s crown of thorns.
To make the most of your visit, experience this magnificent stained glass – one of the largest collections in the world – on a day the sun is shining through the windows and electrifying the colors and Biblical art scenes.
What is the most stunning church you’ve visited? Have you been in Sainte Chapelle?