Boulevard du Palais,On the Île de la Cité.
Best metro stations for Sante-Chapelle are:
Cité - 4mins walk
A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Saint-Chapelle, which is located in the heart of the the Île de la Cité was was commissioned by Louis IX in the 13th century to house his collection of holly relics. The building consists of a low chapel and a high chapel, with the high chapel originally being reserved exclusively for the king and his court.
When you enter the building you arrive in the low chapel and while you won't find the the light shining through stunning stained glass windows you will be immediately impressed with the overall effect of gilded vaults and their colorful decoration.
It is relatively low and dark, too low to be spanned by a single vault like the upper chapel, the space is divided into a nave and side aisles, all vaulted at the same height.The robust design is required as it supports the grand chapel above.Due to a turbulent past that involved surviving the revolution, among other things, all the painting both here and in the upper chapel is from the nineteenth century.
After your visit to the lower chapel you climb up the small spiral staircase to the higher chapel. The upper chapel has four bays and a seven section choir. Its walls appear to be entirely made from glass thanks to the great skill of the artisans who created this Gothic masterpiece.
Most of the stained glasses windows (15.4 m height x 4.25 m wide) date from the 13th century. They are each composed of over 1000 pieces of glass which produce a breathtaking effect.
It is wonderful to see how different external conditions affect your experience.
The flamboyant 16th century rose window which is said to represents the 'Apocalypse around an enthroned Christ in the central oculus', is a joy.
As it is one of the most visited attractions in Paris, the Sainte Chapelle can get very busy (see image 2 above) so there are nearly always long queues waiting to enter. You can avoid the ticket queue by buying your ticket online but will not be able to miss out the strict security one. Try and get there early and ideally on a sunny day to get the whole mesmerising effect of the stained glass.
You can buy a joint ticket to visit the Sainte-Chapelle and the nearby Conciergerie at the same time.
You can enjoy free entry to Saint Chapelle on the first Sunday of every month between 1st November to 31st March but for obvious reasons, it is very busy!
Check the official website for the time of musical concerts held in the upper chapel.
Official website: http://www.sainte-chapelle.fr/en/#
Opening hours : Open every day 1 March to 31 October : 9:30 am to 6 pm 1
November to 28 February : 9 am to 5 pm
Closed between 1 and 2 pm during the week 1 January, 1 May 1 and 25 December
Prices : Adult rate : 8 € Reduced rate : 5 €
Other transport options
St Michel Notre Dame
Nos. 21, 27, 38, 85 and 96 and Balabus
Marché aux fleurs
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