La Sainte-Chapelle (English: The Holy Chapel) is a Gothic chapel found on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris, France. This chapel is a perfect example of the rayonnante period of Gothic architecture. The chapel was designed by architect, Pierre de Montereau.
La Sainte-Chapelle was built in six years (1242-1248). It was consecrated in 1248. The building was designed to house the relics of the Passion, especially the Crown of Thorns. King Louis IX had acquired this Crown from Emperor Baudouin II in 1239. The possession of this relic put France in the forefront of Latin Christendom.
Other relics were brought from Byzantium over the next two years. These relics were kept in the Saint-Nicholas Chapel until a more appropriate place could be prepared. During the French Revolution, the choir stalls and the rood screen of Sainte Chapelle were destroyed. The spire was torn down and the relics sent elsewhere. Restoration of the chapel was undertaken in 1846. The chapel was returned to its former splendor with this restoration.
The stained glass windows of the chapel are its chief glory. They tell the story of humankind from the Creation to the Redemption of the world through Jesus Christ. These windows contain 6,458 sq. ft of glass. Two thirds of the glass are original. Each window is divided into lancets. These lancets must be read from left to right, working from the bottom up. They were restored in the 19th century.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sainte-Chapelle.|
- L'Internaute Magazine: Diaporama Archived 2006-09-22 at the Wayback Machine (in French)
- Informative Article From 1921 On Sainte Chapelle
- Information of the windows of St. James Chapel, replica of the Sainte Chapelle