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All You Need to Know About Sainte Chapelle

Discover the historical masterpiece of Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, built in the 13th century by King Louis IX in the Rayonnant Gothic style. Home to Christian relics like the Crown of Thorns, its upper ch...

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2 hours






1-2 hours (Peak), 30-60 mins (Off Peak)


30-60 mins (Peak), 0-30 mins (Off Peak)



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Did you know?

A Quick Construction: Sainte Chapelle, constructed between 1242 and 1248, stands out as an architectural marvel, completing in a mere six years, showcasing exceptional efficiency for its time.

Stained Glass Restoration: In 2015, a $10 million restoration revitalized the iconic stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle, coinciding with the 800th birth anniversary celebration of King Louis IX.

The Mysterious Architect: Despite its significance, the architect of Sainte Chapelle remains unknown. Legend attributes the design to Pierre de Montreuil, renowned for remodeling the Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis and Notre-Dame Cathedral's southern facade.

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A Gothic chapel dating back to the 13th century, situated in the heart of Paris should not escape your list of things to see whilst in Paris. Nestled along the Seine, the Sainte Chapelle has withstood centuries of monarchy, revolutions and even war. From pristine medieval architecture to art and one of the most famous Christian relics, here’s all you need to know about Sainte Chapelle including its history, architecture and what to expect when planning your visit.

Sainte Chapelle | Quick Facts

About Sainte Chapelle
  • Also Known As: Sainte-Chapelle du Palais
  • Location:  On the Ile de la Cité. The complete address is: 10 Bd du Palais, 75001 Paris. 
  • Established: 1248
  • Architectural Style:  French Gothic 
  • Number of Visitors Per Year: 900K

What is Sainte Chapelle?

Sainte Chapelle About | What is Sainte Chapelle?

One of the prime examples of French Gothic architecture, and home to important Christian relics, the Sainte Chapelle is a chapel located in the heart of Paris. Built in the 13th century, it’s primary purpose was to house King Louis IX’s collections of religious artifacts including the Crown of Thorns. Apart from its religious function, the chapel also serves as a testimony to the finesse of medieval architecture and art and is distinguished by its elaborate and intricate series of stained glass windows. Divided into two primary areas: the upper chapel and the lower chapel, the former serves as the main attraction today wherein you’ll come across the famous stained windows that chronicle Biblical tales. An added experience is that you can also enjoy concerts of the classical variety when visiting the chapel. 

Why Visit Sainte Chapelle?

  • Buckle up for an experiential visit to one of most popular attractions in Paris. Indulge in a historically rich visit and learn all about the chapel through the centuries. Perfect for history buffs
  • Enjoy a slice of gothic architecture of the chapel, which features stunning ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, and pointed arches as well as world-renowned stained glass windows chronicling the tale of the Old and New Testament alike. 
  • The chapel offers a tranquil ambience that doubles as a quiet refuge from the bustling streets of Paris.
  • Another fascinating aspect is the spiritual atmosphere of the chapel that to date serves as a place of worship and mass.
  • The Sainte Chapelle also hosts classical concerts, where music amplified by the architecture is sure to transport you to another dimension. 

Plan Your Visit to Sainte Chapelle

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History of Sainte Chapelle in a Nutshell

Sainte Chapelle was built solely for the purpose of housing Christian artifacts related to the crucifixion of Christ, specifically the Crown of Thorns and a piece of the True Cross. The artifacts were procured by King Louis IX in the 13th century from Emperor Baudouin II de Courtenay. While King Louis IX commissioned the construction, the true architect of the chapel remains unknown. The construction of Sainte Chapelle was officially completed in 1248. Sainte Chapelle has stood the test of time, including attacks by French revolutionaries that destroyed some of the stained glasses. However, over the course of time the chapel has been restored to its former glory and stands as one of the most significant structures in Paris.

Architecture & Design of Sainte Chapelle

About Sainte Chapelle Architecture & Design

Sainte Chapelle is one of the pioneering examples of Gothic architecture. It consists of a lower chapel for daily services and an upper chapel that was reserved for the king and his court. The upper chapel boasts stunning stained glass windows including the Rose Window, depicting Biblical scenes including the Passion of Christ, made up of over 1,000 individual pieces of glass. Incorporating pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses, the chapel is a masterpiece of French Gothic style. The lower chapel's mystical quality is enhanced by its lack of lighting. To date, Sainte Chapelle serves as a stellar testament to French Gothic architecture.

Classical Concerts of Sainte Chapelle

About Sainte Chapelle. Sainte Chapelle Concerts

Renowned not only for its beauty but also as a venue for classical concerts, Sainte Chapelle’s exceptional acoustics make it perfect for chamber music and vocal performances by talented musicians and singers from around the world. The concerts occur throughout the year and feature works by famous composers including Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi. Attending a concert in Sainte Chapelle is an unforgettable experience as the music is amplified by the stone walls and stained glass windows of the chapel, lending further to the mystical ambience. This is the perfect experience for classical music enthusiasts when visiting Paris.

Things to Do Inside Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle About

Marvel at the Gothic Architecture

Constructed during the peak of medieval craftsmanship, the chapel serves as a reminder of gothic architecture. Replete with intricate Gothic arches, ribbed vaults, and columns, you can enjoy a slice of French Gothicism during your visit.

Sainte Chapelle About. Upper Chapel

Take a Stroll Through the Peaceful Upper Chapel

The upper chapel, the main attraction of Sainte Chapelle, is surrounded by 15 magnificent stained glass windows that depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The windows are over 50 feet high, and cover most of the upper chapel's walls adding a peaceful yet vibrant touch to the ambience.

About Sainte Chapelle. Sainte Glass Windows of Sainte Chapelle

Stand Under Stained Glass Windows

Enjoy the main highlight of the chapel. Created in the 13th century, these are some of the oldest and most impressive stained glass windows in the world. The windows are arranged in a way that chronicles important Biblical tales, from the creation of the world to the end of time.

Rose Window Sainte Chapelle

Admire the Rose Window

Located at the west end of the chapel, the Rose Window is made up of 12 segments that depict the 12 apostles. The window is over 40 feet in diameter, and it is a true masterpiece of Gothic art.

About Sainte Chapelle. Christian Relics at Sainte Chappele

Browse Through the History of Holy Christian Relics

Sainte Chapelle was known for its collection of Christian relics, including the Crown of Thorns. Learn all about the relics that the chapel used to house and experience a slice of history for yourself.

About Sainte Chapelle Concerts

Experience a Classical Concert

Throughout the year, Sainte Chapelle hosts classical concerts that take advantage of the chapel's incredible acoustics. These concerts are a great way to experience the beauty of the chapel while enjoying the best of classical music.

Things to Do Near Sainte Chapelle

About Sainte Chapelle. Things to do Nearby. Visit Notre Dame.

Visit the Nearby Notre-Dame Cathedral

The iconic cathedral is located just a short walk from Sainte Chapelle. Take in the stunning architecture, climb the towers for a breathtaking view of the city, and marvel at the many works of art and relics housed within the cathedral.

About Sainte Chapelle. Things to Do Near Sainte Chapelle. Île de la Cité Neighborhood

Take a Stroll Through the Charming Île de la Cité Neighborhood

A small island located in the Seine River, right in the heart of Paris, the Île de la Cité is home to some of the city's most historic and picturesque neighborhoods, including the Latin Quarter and the Marais. Enjoy a slice of French street culture including culinary and retail delights.

About Sainte Chapelle. Things to do Nearby. The Conciergerie.

Explore the Historic Conciergerie

A fascinating historical site located just a few steps away from Sainte Chapelle, the Conciergerie was once a royal palace later used as a prison during the French Revolution. Today, you can explore the cells and learn about the lives of the prisoners who were held there.

About Sainte Chapelle. Sainte Chapelle Bookshop

Check Out the Sainte-Chapelle Bookshop

If you're a book lover, you won't want to miss the Sainte-Chapelle Bookshop. This cozy little store is located just outside the chapel and is filled with a wide variety of books on topics ranging from history to literature to art.

About Sainte Chapelle. Things to do Nearby. Seine River Cruise

Enjoy a Seine River Cruise

One of the best ways to take in the beauty of Paris is through a Seine River Cruise. There are plenty of cruise options available that will take you past some of the city's most iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and, of course, Sainte Chapelle.

About Sainte Chapelle. Things to do nearby. Marché aux Fleurs, Paris's Oldest Flower Market

Indulge in Marché aux Fleurs, Paris's Oldest Flower Market

Just a short walk from Sainte Chapelle, you'll find the Marché aux Fleurs, Paris's oldest flower market. Stroll through the stalls and dive into colorful displays of flowers and botanical delights.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sainte Chapelle

Q. What is Sainte Chapelle?

A. Sainte Chapelle is a Gothic-style royal chapel located in the heart of France. It’s known for its intricate stained glass windows. 

Q. Where is the Sainte Chapelle?

A. The Sainte Chapelle is located at 10 Bd du Palais, 75001 Paris.

Q. Where can I book Sainte Chapelle tickets?

A. You can book Sainte Chapelle tickets online to get the best deals and offers and avoid the hassle of long queues.

Q. What can I do at Sainte Chapelle?

A. At Sainte Chapelle, you can admire the exquisite stained-glass windows, attend a concert, or explore the chapel's history and architecture.

Q. When was Sainte Chapelle built?

A. Sainte Chapelle was built in the mid-13th century, between 1242 and 1248.

Q. How much does it cost to visit Sainte Chapelle?

A. The tickets for a Sainte Chapelle timed entry start as low as €11. It’s recommended that you book your tickets for a seamless experience.