Paris Gems: Sainte-Chapelle

Until the 14th century, the kings of France took up residence officially in the Palais de Cité along the Seine River in Paris, on the Île de la Cité. The Kings’ Royal chapel within the Palais, was Sainte Chapelle. Construction on the chapel roughly began around 1238 and was completed roughly in 1248. It was commissioned by King Louis IX and was intended to house relics from the passion. For instance, the crown of thorns and relics from the Holy cross. King Louis IX sought to make Paris famous and 2nd only to Jerusalem in the world of Christianity. Not surprisingly the chapel was sacked by the revolutionaries during the French Revolutionary War which began in roughly 1792. The chapel would have been viewed as a sign of the hated royalty to the revolutionaries. Supposedly the relics disappeared during this time although “some” were saved and are now supposedly housed in the treasury of Notre Dame Cathedral. Fortunately, the stained glass windows survived both a French assault by the revolution and later the French commune, as well as surviving destruction during WWII’s Nazi Occupation of Paris. That is good news for all of us today. Because if you are ever in Paris, you don’t want to miss this magnificent place. These stain glass windows are dazzling and are a sight to behold.

Among the stained glass of the Upper gallery, there are 15 windows which depict 1,113 separate scenes taken from the old and new testament. They tell the story of the Bible along with the journey of the the holy relics as they made their way to Paris.

Lower Chapel

This place will knock yours socks off.

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