It was a busy day. We had just left Notre Dame de Paris and was suppose to go straight to the Louvre, but Kathy, our fearless leader had penciled in a stop at La Sainte-Chapelle. This side trip cut our time at the museum considerably, but it was definitely worth the effort.
At first you enter a low ceiling chapel and though very nice, you wonder what all the fuss is about. But at the back corners are tight winding stairs that spiral to the second story, where the ceiling rises much higher than expected. Though one wall was covered (due to maintenance I’m guessing) the view was incredible. The detail and size of the stained glass windows are hard to imagine until you see it in person. This is some of the best in the world.
La Sainte-Chapelle or The Holy Chapel is the only surviving building of the Capetian royal palace in the heart of Paris, France. It was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion Relics, including the Crown of Thorns – one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom. Begun some time after 1239 and consecrated on the 26th of April 1248, the Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture. Although damaged during the French revolution and heavily restored in the 19th century, it retains one of the most extensive collections of 13th century stained glass anywhere in the world.