La Sainte-Chapelle (The Holy Chapel) is a masterpiece of Flamboyant Gothic architecture built by Saint Louis in the heart of the Palais de la Cité on the Ile de la Cité in Paris. Its unique stained glass windows are rendering the air iridescent with light and colour, symbols of the Heavenly Jerusalem.
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Begun some time after 1239 and consecrated on the 26th of April 1248, the Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture. Its erection was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion Relics, including Christ’s Crown of Thorns – one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom.
With the Palais de la Cité, today called La Conciergerie, the Sainte-Chapelle is one of the surviving buildings of the Capetian royal palace on the Île de la Cité. Although damaged during the French revolution, and restored in the 19th century, it retains one of the most extensive in-situ collections of 13th century stained glass anywhere in the world.
The most famous features of the chapel, among the finest of their type in the world, are the great stained glass windows, for whose benefit the stone wall surface is reduced to little more than a delicate framework. Fifteen huge mid-13th century windows fill the nave and apse, while a large rose window with Flamboyant tracery (added to the upper chapel c.1490) dominates the western wall.
The Sainte-Chapelle has been a national historic monument since 1862
Canon EOS 500D+EF-S 18-55 @ 36mm, 1/40 sec, ISO200
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