La Sainte-Chapelle, is one of those architectural beauties that keep a history as impressive as its building. It is one of the most beautiful and magic places in the French capital. What do you think if we discover it today?
The origin of the Sainte-Chapelle
The gothic beauty of the Sainte-Chapelle positions it as one of the greatest works of that period. Its majesty can be seen in the very heart of the city of Paris. That is why it is also called the Royal Chapel of the Île de la Cité.
The reasons for the construction of the Sainte-Chapelle, go back to the year of 1241. And it is that this treasure It was built because of the need for a decent temple to keep important relics, closely related to the figure of Jesus Christ, which had been acquired by the French King Louis IX.
Shelter of the relics of the martyrdom of Jesus ChristSainte Chpaelle - Jose Losada - Photography / Flickr.com
The crown of thorns, the iron spear, a piece of the cross, the sponge... These and other relics of great value are here. Perhaps the most important shelter of all time, both cultural and historical and religious, of the martyrdom of Jesus Christ.
As we said, were acquired by king Louis IX to the emperor of Constantinople, Baldwin II. Then, as they required a special and safe place for conservation, this icon of Gothic beauty, the Sainte-Chapelle, was built.
While this Gothic reliquary was built, the objects were received by Louis IX. It is worth mentioning that the king moved them to the center of Paris barefoot and then deposited them under the protection of the chapel of St. Nicholas of his palace. It was in 1248 when the construction of this French Gothic beauty called Sainte-Chapelle was completed.
A masterpiece of the Gothic periodSainte-Chapelle - Chris Chabot / Flickr.com
The architectural grandeur that shapes the Gothic beauty of the Sainte-Chapelle is attributed to the Frenchman Pierre de Montreuil. It was considered a masterpiece of the so-called radiant Gothic period. Even,its perfection and intensity represents, for some, the height of Gothic art.
And although Sainte-Chapelle harbored the relics of Jesus Christ, it also served as a royal chapel. Really, there are two overlapping chapels, being the inferior destined to the common people, while the superior was occupied by the court of the king.
The particularity of the upper chapel lies in that it could only be accessed through the upper galleries. Interestingly, the architect did not contemplate the construction of a staircase. For its part, the common people who were only allowed access to the lower part of the Sainte-Chapelle found that this area was dedicated to the Virgin.
Sainte-Chapelle: wonderful detailsRoof detail - sonouna / flickr.com
The details of the construction do not leave anyone indifferent. The ceiling of this Gothic beauty is supported by several columns. It has a floor plan with three naves, the central one being the largest, whose decoration is polychrome. Each pilaster has a statue of an apostle on its top.
The details surrounding the highest expression of the Sainte-Chapelle church contemplate the fleur de lis, which symbolizes French royalty.The golden castles that decorate the red columns represent Castilla, which symbolizes Louis IX as the son of Blanca de Castilla.
«Architecture is the great book of humanity.»
Stained glassStained glass - Josh Krancer / Flickr.com
In the high chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, there are magnificent windows through which the light passes through. Dominated by the colors red, blue and yellow, they represent religious scenes. The rosette that is located at the southern end and that is 9 meters in diameter represents the Apocalypse.
Other scenes that can be seen in the stained glass windows of the Sainte-Chapelle represent Genesis, the Exodus, the Book of Numbers, the Book of Joshua, John the Evangelist and the childhood of Christ or the Passion, among many other biblical scenes.
So that, Visiting Sainte-Chapelle is a true wonder. Open your five senses to delight yourself with the Gothic majesty of the place, you will not be indifferent. A corner of Paris, no doubt, a must.