A captivating feast of colour and light: La Sainte-Chapelle

26 12 2009

The Sainte-Chapelle or Holy Chapel in located on the Ile de la Cité, in what is the heart of Paris, offers a visual feast of colour and light with its 15 magnificent windows of stained glass erected in a famework of stone, which depicts some 1113 scenes from the Bible. The Gothic chapel, which actually comprises two chapels, the Upper Chapel built for use by the nobles, and the Lower Chapel built for servants, was built in the 13th Century by Louis IX to house Christ’s Crown of Thorns and other relics in the possession of  the King.

Being one that has a fascination of Stained Glass, the Sainte-Chapelle and its Stained Glass, which is considered some of the best works in the world, was something that I had always dreamt of seeing, although never taking the time to do so in the numerous trips I had made to Paris. It wasn’t until 2003, that I took the time to stand in queue under the hot mid-day sun of the Parisian summer.

The Sainte-Chapelle is located in the heart of Paris ... the Ile de la Cité

A rose window in the Upper Chapel

The Upper Chapel offers a visual feast with its 15 stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Bible

The 600 square metres of stained glass, 2/3 of which are original, date back to the 13th Century

Stained glass detail

Stained glass detail

The stained glass panels in the Upper Chapel are 15.4 metres high

1113 scenes from the Old Testament and the Passion of Christ are depicted on the stained glass panels

Sculpture in the Upper Chapel

View of the Upper Chapel

View through a door of the Upper Chapel

Doorway to the Upper Chapel

Bas-relief on door frame depicting a scene from the Old Testament (Noah's Ark)

Bas-relief on door frame depicting a scene from the Old Testament (Noah's Ark)

The serene Lower Chapel



3 responses

21 04 2010

Fantastic church photos.

I have visited in this church only once in my life, although I have visited in Paris about 30 times. I admired Your church photos. Inside churches it is not so easy to take good photos. This I know after photographing about 355 churches in my country. In my blog You’l find some photos from our churches and maybe, the most interesting are those from wooden churches.

22 04 2010
The wondering wanderer

Thanks for your comments! Another thing I enjoy is stained glass – and always look out for the opportunity to photograph them. I myself have been to Paris maybe about ten times and only visited the Sainte-Chapelle only once. It is really a masterpiece and I liked the warm hues in the lower chapel especially. I must say you have done quite a fair bit of church photography – 355 that’s a lot! We don’t have many churches worth photographing here – but there are a few beautiful older ones which I intend to document in future posts – some with quite lovely stained glass as well. I’ve realised that the details on the stained glass stands out quite well in monochrome. The wooden churches would be nice – will catch up on them in your blog – just love the photos you have taken which you have posted! I have always admired wooden structures – be it buildings or boats – and they always give a warm feel! 🙂

5 01 2012
Lue-Yee Tsang

You seem to have gone when they had little scaffolding up. I went less than two months before you did, and several windows were impossible to view.

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