Here are five amazing things you can do at the Sainte Chapelle
1.) Take a tour of Sainte Chapelle
In addition to its sumptuous sun lounge windows, the Sainte-Chapelle is adorned with wall paintings, faithfully restored in the nineteenth century and a carved decoration remarkable for its subtlety and variety. Its architecture, decoration and the ceremony attached to the worship of its relics have influenced all artistic and liturgical creations until the sixteenth century. The upper chapel, where the relics were kept, is delicately painted and carved. It features a sculpted decoration, a striking example of delicacy and variety. The high windows, two-thirds of which are original, are the most complete set of stained glass of the thirteenth century. They tell stories from the Old Testament in the nave, the Passion and Resurrection in the apse, and the Life of the Virgin, John the Baptist and John the Evangelist around it.
A guide (no additional fee required) can help you delve into the Middle Ages as you unravel the religious tales and the mysteries of the Catholic faith.
Entrance fee: 5-8€; free admission if you are under 18.
2.) Go to a classical concert at the Sainte Chapelle
If you were impressed by the esthetic wonders of the Sainte-Chapelle, you will not be disappointed by the classical concerts it hosts about 3 times a week. In this dream like setting, the music of Les solistes français or Bertrand Cervera will make you forget all your worries. This is, by far, one of the best attractions in Paris at night.
3.) Visit the Conciergerie
Like the Sainte Chapelle, it is located within the Palais de Justice on Ile de la Cité, and forms a part of the Palais de la Cité.After the kings had left the Palais de la Cité, the Conciergerie became a famous prison during the French Revolution: for instance, Marie-Antoinette was jailed there. During the period of the Terror, this prison was considered the “anteroom of death”.
4.) Wander around the riverside of Ile De La Cite
Parisians are fond of wandering around the banks of the River Seine, on “les quais”. You can take a Riverside Walking Tour to discover the real soul of Paris and know more about this romantic area of the city, where locals like to hang out with friends, have picnics and watch the sunset. The best places to do that are the edges of the two islands of Paris, Ile de La Cité and Ile Saint Louis, where you have spectacular views of the whole city and a friendly atmosphere. After this experience, you will feel like a real Parisian.
5.) Enter the Canon’s Forbidden City
In the Middle Ages, women and non religious men couldn’t access this part of the Ile de la Cité. The “Chanoines”, the canons, lived their lives far from the rest of the people, isolated in their neighborhood. There are many tales about this area, which you’ll be able to discover with a Notre Dame and Heart of Paris Walking Tour: Héloïse and Abelard love story, the baker and the barber, and the best ice cream ever…
Facts about Sainte Chapelle
This masterpiece of Gothic architecture in Paris was built at the initiative of Saint Louis, to house holy relics -such as a piece of Jesus Christ’s real cross and crown of thorns- within the Palais de la Cité, where kings used to live from the X to the XIV century. This “monumental casket” was built by Pierre de Montreuil between 1246 and 1248. This chef-d’oeuvre was miraculously saved, during the French Revolution, but it was severely damaged. Transformed into a repository of archives, the Sainte-Chapelle was fully restored under the king Louis Philippe, when Gothic was back in fashion, notably by the famous Viollet-Le-Duc (the one who also restored Notre Dame Cathedral) in 1845.
There are actually two chapels: The lower chapel was reserved for servants, and the upper chapel for the royal family, which adjoined the royal apartments.
On the Ile de la Cité in Paris, don’t miss the Sainte-Chapelle, the “Holy Chapel”, a jewel of radiant Gothic architecture, built by St. Louis in the heart of the Palais de la Cité. Discover its unique stained glass enshroud the air with light colors, symbols of the heavenly Jerusalem. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which you can visit any day of the year at any time. In order to really appreciate the visit, you can follow a 45-minute guided tour, which does not require any prior booking.Georges
How to get there
Notre Dame De Paris: Station Cité, line 4,Station Châtelet: Lines 1, 4, 7, 11, 14
Place Dauphine: Station Pont Neuf, Line 7, Station Cité, Line 4
Ile Sainte Louis: Line 7, Station Pont Marie or Sully-Morland
Notre Dame De Paris: Station Saint-Michel Notre Dame
- 13 million visitors a year 99%
- Incredibly detailed 80%
- Contains hidden mysteries 70%
1.) Notre Dame de Paris:
It is nearly impossible to miss this Paris landmark, which combines the beauty, power, sensibility and subtlety of the Catholic religion with the greatness of France throughout history, in a gothic masterpiece that welcomes 13 million visitors a year.
2.) Place Dauphine:
One of the oldest squares in Paris, on the edge of Ile de la Cité. Its original triangular shape and its quiet ambiance makes you want to stay there forever, enjoying one of the cafés or French restaurants around.
3.) Ile Saint Louis:
This is the second natural Island of Paris. Just cross the bridge (Pont Saint Louis) near the Park of Notre Dame and you will find yourself in a wealthy and trendy island, a land to show-off, in stark contrast to the touristic area of Notre Dame or the humble and intellectual spirit of the Latin Quarter. Don’t forget to buy a wild strawberry sorbet at Berthillon, which makes the best ice-cream in Paris, and one of the 10 best in the world.