Sainte Chapelle Rose Window

The Rose of the Apocalypse in the upper chapel is a beautiful, impressive stained glass window. 

It is 9 meters wide and made of a complex design of stone that looks like flames.

The Rose of the Apocalypse was rebuilt in the 15th century under the reign of Charles VIII. It replaces an earlier rose window on the same theme. 

The builders of the 15th century wanted to make the Rose of the Apocalypse a work of art in the flamboyant Gothic style, which was popular at the time.

The dominant colors in the Rose of the Apocalypse are yellow and green instead of blue and red, as in the other windows in the chapel. 

This is because silver yellow is a metal oxide that can color glass. 

The use of silver and yellow revolutionized the art of stained glass in the 14th century.

Keep reading for all the information, from construction to restoration:

Origin of Rose Windows

Origin of Rose Windows
Image : Stephanie LeBlanc on Unsplash

The origin of rose windows started in the 12th-century Gothic period.

First, Sainte Chapelle rose windows were introduced in Romanesque architecture.

These are circular stained glass windows commonly found in cathedrals and churches.

Initially, these windows were stone carved in the shape of a wheel.

The decorative stained glass windows come right from the medieval, 12th-century Gothic period.

In this case, the windows are divided into sections, illuminating the central oculus—the eye of the rose.

The rose windows offer a familiar design, however, done in striking style!

The depictions from the Bible set it apart from all the others.

Rose Windows at Saint Chapelle

Rose Windows at Saint Chapelle
Image : Mitya Ivanov on Unsplash

The rose windows at Sainte Chapelle date back to 1495.

These windows look like massive fireworks exploding with colors that are incredible to watch.

The western rose window of Sainte Chapelle is one of the popular highlights of the renowned attraction.

One of the critical features of these vast windows on the chapel’s west wall is that they are the wall of light for the monument.

However, there is a much darker meaning behind it.

The vibrant window depicts the story from the last section of the Book of Revelation, with the prophecy of the end of the world. 

Hence, the window is also known as the Rose of the Apocalypse.

Keep reading to learn more about the Sainte Chapelle windows.

Construction of Rose Windows in Sainte Chapelle

The 9-meter-long Sainte Chapelle window represents the flamboyant Gothic architectural style.

The current Rose Window at Sainte Chapelle was rebuilt in 1485 during the reign of Charles VIII.

Also, the theme of the Rose Window from the 13th century remains the same, although there have been some noticeable changes in its structure.

As for the rose window, Sainte Chapelle’s architect in the 15th century decided to turn it into something more in line with contemporary style.

After noticing the rose window up close, you may notice the change in its color scheme.

Now, yellow and green are the dominant colors instead of the red and blue from the 13th century.

The Sainte Chapelle windows are also exceptionally preserved. Only nine of the 87 rose window panels were restored in the nineteenth century.

Rose Window Depictions

Origin of Rose Windows
Image: Britannica.com

Placed on the western facade, the rose is the last part of the building to let light into the upper chapel.

For Christians, the Rose of the Apocalypse depicts the glorious return of Christ and the advent of his kingdom, Heavenly Jerusalem.

In the eye of the rose, we see Christ enthroned, his mouth pierced by a sword. 

At his feet is the prophet Saint John, to whom Christ reveals “what is the divine meaning of his time and how the people of God will soon be delivered.”

At the bottom of the eye of the rose are two of the four terrible horsemen of the Apocalypse.

On the left, a white horseman (death) emerges from a dragon’s mouth, and on the right, a horseman carrying scales (famine)

Restoration Of Rose Windows At Sainte Chapelle

Along with the restoration of Sainte Chapelle, the Rose Windows have also been renovated a couple of times.

The original western rose window of Sainte Chapelle was replaced in 1485 with new flamboyant-styled glass.

The 15th-century window was recently restored and unveiled in 2016 and is now one of the world’s most popular Gothic architecture examples.


What are the rose windows at Sainte Chapelle?

Along with the 15 stained glass windows, a large rose window is west of the chapel.

The different panels tell the story of the Bible and how relics were housed here when they came to Paris.

The rose window, in particular, shares the story from the last section of the Book of Revelation.

What was the purpose of rose windows?

The purpose of rose windows is to symbolize how smaller units come together to form an entirely harmonious unit.

It is similar to the eastern mandala and is meant to be viewed as a meditative experience.

The viewer moves around the circular window until they are back at the beginning.

How many windows does Sainte Chapelle have?

The Sainte Chapelle has a total of 15 stained glass windows.

This is why it stands out as having the most extensive collection of stained glass from the 13th century.

The glasses primarily portray the story of the Bible, from Genesis to the resurrection of Jesus, with intricate details.

What are the stained glass windows in Sainte Chapelle?

The stained glass windows make the Sainte Chapelle unique. The windows depict stories from the Bible.

It has five colors: blue, red, yellow, green, and yellow, giving it an aesthetically vibrant feel.

Each window has 1,113 narratives in small glass panels from the New and Old Testaments.

Was the Sainte Chapelle rebuilt?

Over the years, the Sainte Chapelle has undergone several restorations for its structure and stained glass.

The two-level chapel was restored in the 19th century and has been in stages of renovation since the 1970s.

Moreover, the Sainte Chapelle rose window was replaced entirely in 1485 with a more unique, flamboyant-styled glass.

Featured Image: Tripadvisor.in

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