Sainte- Chapelle (Paris)

4 Boulevard du Palais

Tel. 01- 5340 6080

Subway: Cite

Open: daily

Closed: Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25


Description of Sainte Chapelle or Saint Chapel

Sainte Chapelle or Saint Chapel was constructed in 1248 to house holy relics of the Roman Catholic Church including Crown of Thorns that Jesus Christ wore on a day of his crucifixion. Sainte Chapelle consists of two chapels. The upper chapel was reserved for the members of the royal family and members of the royal court, while lower chapel was reserved for servants, minor government servants and others commoners. Magnificent stained glass of the circular Rose Window at the entrance of Sainte Chapelle depicts scenes from the Apocalypses.

During French Revolution of the late 18th century Sainte Chapelle was nationalizes by the revolutionary government and transformed into a flour warehouse. It was badly damaged by the angry mob around the time. A century later Sainte Chapelle was renovated by an architect Viollet- le- Duc. The spire was erected in 1853. It reached a height of 75 m or 245 feet above street level. 


The history of the Sainte Chapelle begins in 1241 when the crown of thorns, part of the cross, the iron of the spear, the sponge and other relics of the martyrdom of Jesus Christ, was taken to France, from Constantinople which had been acquired by King Louis IX from Baldwin II, last Latin emperor of Constantinople. The French king went to receive these sacred relics and he himself entered Paris with them, barefoot, depositing them provisionally in the chapel of St. Nicholas of his palace, until a chapel worthy of the relics was built. The Sainte Chapelle probably started in 1241 and was consecrated in 1248.

The service of the Holy Chapel
Thanks to a privilege linked to the crown of France, the clergy of the Sainte Chapelle did not depend on the bishop or the parish on the perimeter of which the palace of the Cité is situated, that is, the parish of San Bartolomé. So that this exemption was not rejected by the bishop of Paris, he was not invited to the consecration ceremony, which was presided over by the apostolic legate and the archbishop of Reims. In 1273, the Pope officially unites the clergy of the Holy Chapel to the Holy See.