Last update : 23 Apr 2016

Sainte-Chapelle

8 boulevard du Palais, Paris 1er arrondissement (75001)

Category : Buildings / Religious

Period : Middle Ages

- Open to the public

- Covered place

Classified as "Historic Monument"

UNESCO world heritage

- More informations : www.sainte-chapelle.fr/

The Sainte-Chapelle, the palatine chapel in the courtyard of the royal palace on the Île de la Cité, was built to house precious relics: Christ's crown of thorns, the Image of Edessa and thirty other relics of Christ that had been in the possession of Louis IX.

The royal chapel was a prime exemplar of the developing culminating phase of Gothic architectural style called "Rayonnant" that achieved a sense of weightlessness. Its architect is generally thought to have been Pierre de Montereau. It stands squarely upon a lower chapel, which served as parish church for all the inhabitants of the palace, which was the seat of government. The king was later granted sainthood by the Catholic Church as Saint Louis.

The most visually beautiful aspects of the chapel, considered the best of their type in the world, are its stained glass, for which the stonework is a delicate framework, and rose windows, added to the upper chapel in the fifteenth century.

Much of the chapel as it appears today is a re-creation, although nearly two-thirds of the windows are authentic. The chapel suffered its most grievous destruction in the late eighteenth century during the French Revolution, when the steeple and baldachin were removed, the relics dispersed (though some survive as the "relics of Sainte-Chapelle" at Notre Dame de Paris), and various reliquaries, including the grande châsse, were melted down. The Sainte-Chapelle was requisitioned as an archival depository in 1803. Two meters' worth of glass was removed to facilitate working light and destroyed or put on the market. Its well-documented restoration, completed under the direction of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1855, was regarded as exemplary by contemporaries and is faithful to the original drawings and descriptions of the chapel that survive.

Source of article : Sainte-Chapelle from Wikipedia

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