|Metro stop across from Justice|
near Saint Chappelle
Across the street, hundreds of other tourists and Frenchmen decided it was a great day to see Saint Chappelle and stood in a very long line. Hoping it moved quickly, we joined the throng. Within the hour, we were inside this church built by and for a king.
Next to the Palais de Justice in the Cite, this lovely cathedral was built by Louis IX for himself and his family. With a private corridor, that led from his private residence to the upper chamber (see picture below), he was able to sit, yes, above the crowd to pray.
|The main entrance to|
Sint Chappell showing
Mary and Child.
An extremely devout man, Louis spared no expense on this gorgeous chapel. The delicacy of the decor on the pillars in the main hall (or main floor) astonished me. This lower level was the place of worship for all in the royal household. Still here below, we have a statue of Louis.
|Gold filigree on the pillars in the lower chapel.|
|Louis IX in the lower chapel.|
Climbing the winding narrow stairs to the royal chapel, we entered a truly brilliant church illuminated by the kaleidoscope of colored stained glass. Unique among France's medieval churches, this one is ornate to the finest detail. I attempt here to show you a few examples. And yet, do know that ongoing renovations here meant that canvas obscured a few of the windows. And the light we might have enjoyed was cut.
Still on your own trip, which I hope will be soon, do take in this gorgeous example of Regnant Medieval architecture. Inspiring, this church must have also been terribly expensive to build. Marvelous that it still stands for us to admire!
|The king's chapel with main altar. The king would enter from his private corridor to the left of the gold cupola |
and sit there to hear the priest say mass.
|Detail of one side window.|
|Detail of pillar carvings which are representations of heroes from the Bible.|
|Another view. Note the wealth of gold leaf and finite detail of the painting.|
|Yes, the exterior! More gargoyles! Friendly little fellows!|