Built on the Ile de la Cité, the Sainte-Chapelle is a true gem. If you are in Paris and looking to be dazzled, visit this building!
In this article, I give you all the useful information, the highlights of the visit, as well as some pictures taken on the spot.
The Sainte-Chapelle: a chapel dating from Saint-Louis!
Also known as the Sainte-Chapelle du Palais, the Sainte-Chapelle is a real little miracle. Its construction, which began in 1241, lasted only 7 years. In 1248, the work of this chapel in Gothic style was finished. It is a feat for the time!
Its construction was wanted by Louis IX, better known in history as Saint-Louis. This nickname was given to him to emphasize his fervor and pay tribute to his participation in the crusades.
This Sainte-Chapelle is one of the ten royal chapels built in France in the Middle Ages. However, its beauty makes it more famous than the others.
Its aesthetic asset is the presence of huge stained glass windows. Still today, those you see are the originals. Their conservation is remarkable.
On the other hand, the relics that it housed disappeared during the French Revolution.
Contrary to what some people think, the remains of Saint-Louis are not in the Sainte-Chapelle. His body is in the Basilica of Saint-Denis, while his heart is in the Cathedral of Monreale in Sicily.
Highlights of a visit to the Sainte-Chapelle
- The Sainte-Chapelle is a jewel of Gothic architecture and is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris.
- Its collection of 13th century stained glass windows is unique.
- The spiritual atmosphere emanating from such a religious building is soothing and meaningful.
- The Sainte-Chapelle is located on the Ile de la Cité, next to Notre-Dame-de-Paris. A visit to both is a must, or even to the three places if you go to the Conciergerie!
Disadvantages of a visit to the Sainte-Chapelle
- The Sainte-Chapelle can be visited quickly, while the wait can be long.
- The price of admission is high, when it is already unusual to pay to enter a Catholic building.
What can you see during a visit to the Sainte-Chapelle du Palais?
A visit to the Sainte-Chapelle is an opportunity to see a mythical monument of French history. Saint-Louis is an important king in the national narrative, even if in France, it is no longer “fashionable” to put forward a king famous for his religious fervor…
If you want to discover Gothic art, this is the chapel to visit in Europe. Visitors’ opinions are unanimous in emphasizing the calm and the feeling of grandeur that reigns when you are in the center of the Sainte-Chapelle.
Take the time to admire the work of the artists who worked on its construction. Among the things to observe are:
- The large nave which houses an impressive altar and magnificent carved columns.
- The Choir which has ornamental windows and a statue of the Virgin.
- The Gallery of the Angels, which is surrounded by Gothic arches supported by winged figures.
- The 13th century stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes.
- The restored murals with beautiful colors and floral motifs.
- The monumental bronze statue of Saint-Denis.
This list is not exhaustive!
How much does it cost to enter the Sainte-Chapelle?
The price for a free visit of the Sainte-Chapelle is:
- €11.50 for an adult
- free for people under 18 (or under 25 if you are French or from a European Union country) and disabled people.
An audio tour is available for €3.
If you wish to visit the Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie, the price for both visits is €18.50.
How long does a visit to the Sainte-Chapelle last?
The Sainte-Chapelle is not a great religious building, but the architectural richness and its stained glass windows can be observed for a long time.
The estimated time to visit is 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Where is the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris?
The Sainte-Chapelle is 10, boulevard du Palais in Paris.
How to get to the Sainte-Chapelle?
As always in Paris, the most convenient way is by public transport.
The public transport lines near the Sainte-Chapelle are
- Metro 4 (Cité station)
- RER B or C (Saint-Michel station)
- Metro 1, 7, 11 and 14 (Châtelet station)
- Bus 21, 24, 27, 38, 58, 81, 85 and 96.
There is also a Velib’ station nearby.
What are the opening hours of the Sainte-Chapelle?
The opening hours of the Sainte-Chapelle are:
- From October 1st to March 31st : 9a.m. to 5p.m.
- From April 1st to September 30th: 9a.m. to 7p.m.
The Sainte-Chapelle is closed on May 1st, December 25th and January 1st.
What other activities can I do near the Sainte-Chapelle?
Paris is full of activities. Less than 3 km from the Sainte-Chapelle, you can visit:
- The Conciergerie
- The Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral
- The Pantheon
- The Orsay Museum
- The Louvre Museum
- The Garnier Palace
- The Orangery Museum
As a professional blogger, I take advantage of my flexible schedule to travel a lot. I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!