Saint-Chapelle: A little Gothic gem in the heart of Paris

History of Saint-Chapelle

Saint-Chapelle (The Holy Chapel) in Paris is one of the masterpieces of the Rayonnant period of the Gothic architecture. It is located on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris. Saint-Chapelle was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of relics of Christ, which were purchased from the Latin emperor at Constantinople, Baldwin II in 1239. The building of the Holy Chapel started in 1246 and it was quickly completed and consecrated in 1248.

Saint-Chapelle consists of two chapels. The Lower Chapel is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and it was used from all the inhabitants of the palace. The collection of relics, including Christ’s Crown of Thorns and fragments of the True Cross, were housed in the Upper Chapel. This Chapel was reserved for the king and his family and it is a real masterpiece with its 6,458 square feet of stained glass windows and richly decorated wall surface. The Upper Chapel is stunning especially on a sunny day.

During the French Revolution the Holy Chapel suffered much damage. Some of the holy relics were lost and never found, its furniture and stalls disappeared. Few relics were found later and moved to Notre-Dame Cathedral. In the 19th century Saint-Chapelle was restored.

Tips for visiting Saint-Chapelle

Access to the church is controlled by the gendarmerie, so you can’t carry with you sharp metal objects such as knives, scissors. Be prepared your bags to be checked.

Useful information
Address: 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris
Access: Metro station Cité – line 4
Opening hours:
From March to October: 09:30 AM – 06:00 PM
From November to February: 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Admission: 8,50 €
Web site:


The Holy Chapel




Upper Chapel

Stained glass window in the Upper Chapel

Upper Chapel

decoration in the Lower Chapel

stained glass window in the Lower Chapel


Lower Chapel

decoration in the church

stained glass window in the Upper Chapel

Upper Chapel

Have you visited the church? Please leave your comment below.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m definitely going to see it in May! 🙂

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