All You Need to Know About Sainte Chapelle
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
- 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?
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.
Plan Your Visit to Sainte Chapelle
Address: 10 Bd du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
The Royal Chapel is located on the Palais de la Cité complex, the district that once served as the residential area for the French Monarchy. Located on the banks of the River Seine, the chapel is not just conveniently located but is also close to other iconic French landmarks including the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Concierge.Get directions to Sainte Chapelle
The Sainte Chapelle is open on all the days of the week. However, the timings are seasonal. Here’s a breakdown of the chapel’s opening hours.
April to September: 9 AM to 7 PM
October to March: 9 AM to 5 PM
- Last Admission: 40 mins before closing
- Closed: May 1, December 25 and January 1
Architecture & Design of Sainte Chapelle
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Frequently Asked Questions About 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.
A. The Sainte Chapelle is located at 10 Bd du Palais, 75001 Paris.
A. You can book Sainte Chapelle tickets online to get the best deals and offers and avoid the hassle of long queues.
A. At Sainte Chapelle, you can admire the exquisite stained-glass windows, attend a concert, or explore the chapel's history and architecture.
A. Sainte Chapelle was built in the mid-13th century, between 1242 and 1248.
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.