La Sainte Chapelle – the Holy Chapel – a crowning jewel on Île de la Cité in Paris, France
Perhaps one of the most beautiful and striking chapels in all of Paris, La Sainte Chapelle, located on Île de la Cité near Notre Dame, surrounds you with its radiant stained glass windows full of a most heavenly light! Until you see it in person, you cannot appreciate the translucent majesty that awaits all who venture inside! Literally breathless after ascending the tiny staircase from the lower level, I emerged into the chapel full of streaming sunlight illuminating the details of these magnificent windows. See for yourself!
Completed and consecrated in 1248, the chapel was sponsored by King Louis IX, the future Saint Louis, and construction started circa 1240 in his palais de la Cité. Eventually, Sainte Chapelle was to house the holy relics of the passion of which none remains in this location today, and it served as a model for all future chapels built by St. Louis and his descendants! After the Revolution wreaked havoc on the chapel, restoration was underway from 1840 – 1868 and eventually, the chapel was restored to its former 13th-century glory. Today, Sainte Chapel and the Tour Bonbec nearby, are all that remains of the royal palace.
With expectations running high, we entered the chapel on the lower level – a very underwhelming experience – which served as the parish church for the locals living around the King's palace. See photo directly below.
However, once you ascend the stairway just to the right of the entrance , you are on your way. I will let the images below speak for themselves. Behold, the glorious La Sainte Chapelle!