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Sainte-Chapelle


  - 2 opinions

Spell binding

Published by Kriya Vij — 3 years ago

Paris has many beautiful, historic and famous churches. During a visit to Paris, tourists don't forget to include these in their to-do list. I have visited many churches in the city and one of them happens to be my favorite place in the entire city. None of this fascination at all is attributed to religious aspects of the church. My favorite place in Paris is St Chapelle

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The view of the ancient church from the exterior. Image credit : St-Chapelle Official Website. In a poetic mood, if you will, these walls have lived through a lot. 

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Image credit - St-Chapelle official website.

Paris has many beautiful, historic and famous churches. During a visit to Paris, tourists don't forget to include these in their to-do list. I have visited many churches in the city and one of them happens to be my favorite place in the entire city. None of this fascination at all is attributed to religious aspects of the church. But if someone would ask me for the best place in Paris, my answer would be Saint Chapelle.

Overwhelming History

I have suggested previously in the blog post about Eiffel tower that researching a bit about the history beforehand adds to the awesomeness of the experience of visiting it. In the case of St Chapelle, I would recommend it even more strongly.

Researching about st Chapelle will lead you to know about Île de la Cité - the island where the king and his kingdom's major buildings coexisted before the French revolution.

Here are the interesting facts which made me go 'can’t wait' about the place.

- Île de la Cité has a collection of buildings of the French kingdom before the French revolution, most of which were damaged and destroyed during the revolution. St Chapelle is the best-preserved building of the ancient kingdom and more often than not the beautiful glass paintings on the church's walls are the real ones from the king's century!

  1. “Pont neuf” connects Île de la Cité to Paris. The meaning of the name is "new bridge", but now it is the oldest bridge over the Seine.
  2. Next to St Chapelle is the Conciergerie. It is the place where the Queen Marie Antoinette, along with other captives, was kept before her life was ended publicly during the French revolution.
  3. Place de la Concorde is close to this area as that was where Marie Antoinette, the king and many other captives breathed their last.

A point to be noted is that Île de la Cité is not very far from the Louvre, the world's largest museum where Monalisa (la Jaconde) lives with thousands of previous artifacts from different centuries.

Île de la Cité is surrounded by river Seine. During the day and at night, cruises take tourists around the island while informing on the way about the significance of different places and buildings.

As you probably must be feeling by now, there is indeed a lot to see within this small area of Paris.

Travelling to St Chapelle

There are a number of ways to reach the destination site. If you have visited the Louvre Museum, you can simply walk to the church. This way you get to see the area better, and walking in Paris is pleasant by itself. However, it is also convenient to use the Metro the station Les Halles which is at a distance of mere three minutes from the Church. The station can be reached via the metro line number four.

St Chapelle

After having painted this picture around St Chapelle, let us get back to talking about the church for now. The entry to the church is not free. However, students under the age of 25 can enter for free by showing their valid IDs which indicate their date of birth clearly. Make sure not to go just a little before the closing time as let's face it- you're gonna wanna stay, as long as possible.

Upon entering the church, you will find out that there are two floors. The first floor is the typical gothic style but it is a combination of the colors blue and golden. That is not very common. Below is a picture-

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The ground floor of St Chapelle church.

On the ground floor, you can also find pieces of buildings kept for display- apparently broken off from the building furing the French revolution. 

Tourists walk around and take pictures- which is allowed - as they admire the beauty of the beautiful church made many centuries ago! The staircase to the upper floor seem to be near-original as well. They are spiral, at unusual heights and interesting - if you like to pay notice to small things.

The first floor is spell binding. It is difficult to capture its experience in pictures, which is why I would again encourage you to go to the church.

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Image credits : 

There are chairs on the first floor. However, these chairs are not facing towards a religious idol, but towards the glass walls. It is a soothing experience to sit there and gaze. You must look in all directions otherwise you might miss things-

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Image credits : Telegraph website. The ceiling and the glass windows.

Many other churches in Paris like the Notre Dame also have the gothic style architecture.  In many ways - from architecture to its history - the Sainte-Chapelle church stands out.

It can be said that the church is undervalued in terms of its significance, beauty and tourism potential. If you are in Paris or are planning a visit, make it a point to visit this church. I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

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The Bible in glass

Published by Ethel Rudnitzki — 2 years ago

Paris is a multicultural city, where people from all over the world meet, but it is also an historic place that holds a lot of French history in its buildings. Frace was ruled by catholic monarchs for years, so you'll find many churches and chapels in the city. 

One of the most beautiful, but also not so famous of them is Saint Chapelle (Saint Chapel, in English). It was built during the Middle Age, around the 13th century in Paris, and it is full of history in its walls, or windows. 

The Bible in glass

The chapel is divided in two parts: higher chapell and lower chapel, both very beautiful and fulled with colours in the walls and windows, all of them with stained glass.

The lower church has columnes covered with gold, some paintings and an altar with a beautiful statue of Mother Mary. It also has stained glass windows from where the light comes in. It is the entrance of the Chapell and you can buy some souvenirs inside it.

The Bible in glass

But the higher chapel is the most stunning! It has 12 big stained glasse windows that show biblical episodes, from the creation of Adam and Eve, to the Apocalipse. It was made to teach religion to those who couldn't read during the middle age (which were many), and it makes the chapel really special. 

The Bible in glass

Nowadays is just a very beautiful to look at. The stained glasses are 70% original and the place is very preserved.

The Bible in glass

Visitations

The chapell has no longer religious cerimonies, but it is open for visitations every day from 9am to 5pm during winter and 9am to 7pm during summer. It also holds some events such as choirs and concerts - check their website for more information. 

To visit Saint Chapelle you have to buy tickets that costs 10 euros. If you're under 25 and live or study at European Union, or if you study arts, history or architecture anywhere, the entrance is free

The only bad thing is that you need to climb narrow and big stairs to get up to the higher chapell and people with disabilities may not be able to visit it.

Location

The church is located in île de France, an isle in the Sena river in Paris. It is very close to another famous attraction in town: Notre Dame church, and you can get there by subway or train (there are many stations nearby). 

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