A traveler’s guide inside Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle is a jewel that symbolizes the Gothic architecture of France. It lies in the heart of Paris and welcomes over 9 million visitors yearly.

This Medieval chapel houses remarkable glass paintings, and its history is an exceptional sight for many.

Especially for its interiors, the well-renowned Chapelle has the most stunning collection of holy relics and intricate glass windows.

Sainte Chapelle concerts are other add-ons that make this place worth visiting. 

Book your Sainte Chapelle tickets to view this rich cultural Chapel.

Sainte-Chapelle Interiors

Sainte-Chapelle Interiors
Image: Facebook.com/ricksteves

Inside Sainte Chapelle is beautiful stained glass windows covering almost the entire surface area of the walls.

The colors of the glass are still vibrant today, despite the passage of time, and they are some of the finest examples of medieval stained glass in the world.

Despite its small size, the Sainte-Chapelle has a powerful and imposing presence. 

It is a testament to the skill and creativity of its builders. It remains one of the world’s most important examples of Gothic architecture.

During your visit, the Sainte Chapelle interior will leave you amazed. Below are the reasons why:

The Lower Chapel

The Lower Chapel is a tribute to Virgin Mary. It was where the palace’s staff and the king’s family resided.

It was also used by the palace staff, such as the servants and guards, during religious services and ceremonies.

The highlight of this chapel is the beautiful wall painting of the Annunciation.

Lower Chapel inside Sainte Chapelle also houses a gift shop selling many books and souvenirs to tourists.

The Upper Chapel

Entering the Upper Chapel will leave you in awe because of its beautiful interiors and the walls made from stained glass.

The king and his friends used this chapel by accessing it through an outdoor terrace.

The clever structural window design flares out the light from outside, creating a glowing and exceptional illusion in the chapel.

The stained-glass windows

The stained-glass windows
Image: Pinterest.com

Sainte Chapelle interiors are known for the beauty of their stained glass windows.

Dating back to the 13th century, stained glasses are one of the oldest things you will find in Paris.

They are particularly notable for using a wide range of colors, made using a new “pot metal” glass technique. 

The windows are on two levels, with the lower level depicting scenes from the Old Testament and the upper level depicting scenes from the New Testament.

Of the 1,113 scenes depicted on the glass windows, 720 are its original works.

The window tells the story of the Bible from Genesis to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Note: Around two-thirds of the windows are original, while the rest are replacements because of the damage caused during the French Revolution. 

The Rose Window

Rose Window
Image: Wikimedia.org

One of the critical features of Sainte Chapelle interior is the rose window, also known as the wall of light.

The majestic rose window was added in 1490, almost 250 years after the upper Chapel’s windows.

It differs stylistically from other windows because of its classic Flamboyant Gothic style with decorative stonework.

The colorful window illustrates the last section of the Book of Revelation and a prediction of the world’s end.

You can spot God on a throne holding the book of Seven Seals and Saint John, plus the Seven Churches of Asia at the feet of Christ on the window.

The Apostles’ statues

Apostles’ statues
Image: Pinterest.com

The 12 statues of the Apostles are a classic example of the gothic style inside Sainte Chapelle and are present in the upper chapel.

These 13th-century statues are made of stone and are small in size, placed in the spandrels between the windows. 

They sustained damages during the Revolution. Three statues somehow survived. You can now see these statues at the Musée de Cluny

Also known as the ‘Church Pillars,’ the statues highlight individualization as ancient art reflects on their faces.

Note: You can book a private tour to explore the Sainte-Chapelle, Musee de Cluny and Conciergerie through Latin Quarters. 

The Great Shrine

The Great Shrine inside Sainte Chapelle is on the upper level of the Chapel. This shrine was home to the Crown of Thorns and other relics. 

It is adorned with gold leaves and precious stones and is considered an important example of Gothic art and architecture. 

The Vaults

Image: Pinterest.com

Stone aided the vaults on the upper chapel and pointed arches supported them. 

They are divided into six bays, each containing a ribbed vault. 

Also, there are intricate and delicate stone carvings on them. These include foliage, flowers and other decorative elements. 

Unlike the lower chapel, the vaults do not consist of fleur-de-lys (the royal symbol) but have golden stars representing heaven.

Tourists can now enter by a spiral staircase from the lower chapel to see the beauty of the vault in the upper chapel. Book your Sainte Chapelle tickets now!


What is unique about Sainte Chapelle?

Unlike other cathedrals, Sainte Chapelle is unique in its own way.

It was initially used to store precious relics like the Crown of Thorns acquired by Saint Louis.

Another famous feature of this chapel is its fifteen great stained-glass windows and the rose window that glorify the relics.

What is inside Sainte Chapelle?

Sainte Chapelle has an exceptional collection of stained glass windows that depict old testaments; and has two parts, the Upper Chapel and the Lower Chapel.

It also consists of the famous Rose Windows, Apostles Statues, the Great Shrine, the Vaults and various Gothic Architecture, making it a top attraction.

What style does Sainte Chapelle’s interiors represent?

Sainte Chapelle, famous for its architecture worldwide, is a classic example of French Gothic Architecture.

It was built in the 13th century by King Louis IX, later known as Saint Louis.

The Chapelle was initially attached to the Royal Palace, but later, the palace was demolished, leaving Sainte Chapelle behind.

Can I go inside Sainte Chapelle?

You can go inside Sainte Chapelle and explore the famous Paris attraction closely.

As Sainte Chapelle is within the perimeter of the Palace de justice, the security check at the entrance is strict, and visitors are requested to comply with the security control.

However, it is not free to enter the Chapelle; you can even buy skip-the-line tickets to avoid standing in long queues and enter Sainte Chapelle peacefully.

How many chapels are there inside Sainte Chapelle?

The two levels inside Sainte Chapelle have unique and fascinating architecture and have an interesting history behind them.

But only the King’s friends and family could access the Upper Chapel through the outdoor terrace.

While the Lower Chapel was the place of worship for the king’s household staff and members.

How much of Sainte-Chapelle consists of glass?

Only the Upper Chapel contains the famous stained glass windows.

There are 15 glass windows, each 15 meters tall, that illustrate the story of the Bible from Genesis to Christ’s resurrection.

There are almost 1,113 scenes depicted on the stained glass, which spans upto three walls of the upper Chapel.

What does the Rose window in Sainte Chapelle signify?

The Rose windows in the transept end represent the Mother of Jesus, Mary.

However, in modern Catholic thought, the window signifies Virgin Mary because St Bernard of Clairvaux gave one of her titles, the Mystical Rose.

The Rose window in the Chapel is beautiful and depicts an exciting story, making it a must-visit.

Featured Image: Anatasia Collection

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