The Sainte-Chapelle is one of the architectural gems of Paris. If you are planning to visit Notre-Dame, the imposing cathedral on Ile de la Cité, it would be a good idea to have a look at this other impressive Gothic building just nearby. Built by the king of France saint Louis between 1239 and 1248, this private chapel is famous in the whole world today because this is where you can find the most extensive collection of Gothic stained-glasses still intact. It was built to house the relics of the Passion of Christ, that the king just purchased. Today, the relics do not exist anymore (they were destroyed during the French Revolution), but the building still tells us much about this period. When you arrive, you first visit the lower chapel, where the staff working for the king in the palace could attend mass. Then you access the upper chapel, almost entirely made of stained-glass. You have the feeling to be surrounded by light and by color. All around you, you can find more than 1000 little medallions depicting the story of mankind as seen as that time, from the Creation of the World by God until… the Creation of the Sainte-Chapelle by Saint-Louis!

I strongly recommend this place, even though you are usually not really into visiting monuments. This really is a gorgeous and magical place. Unfortunately, you often have to wait a long time to get in, especially in summer. The chapel being inside the current Law Court of Paris, the security staff is really careful and you actually have 2 lines before entering the chapel. The first one to pass through security and the second to purchase tickets. It’s good to know that if you have a museum pass, you can skip the second line but not the first. Luckily, there is a café just in the other side of the street, if you want to take turn with your friends while waiting in line.

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