Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle is considered to be one of the greatest achievements of the Rayonnant period in Gothic architecture

Sainte Chapelle
Sainte Chapelle cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo by ayelienne

Sainte Chapelle, The Holy Chapel, is the only building that remains of the Capetian royal palace. The Sainte Chapelle was built to house the Passion Relics of King Louis IX. The relics were carried by the king himself, barefoot and dressed as a pilgrim, for the last part of their journey from Venice. These relics included the Crown of Thorns that was placed on Christ's head at his crucifixion.

The Sainte Chapelle is considered to be one of the greatest achievements of the Rayonnant period in Gothic architecture. It is designed to appear weightless and elegant. Visitors entering from the courtyard are greeted by the impressive sight of the grand ceremonial staircase and the eastern wing of Sainte Chapelle. A truly magnificent sight indeed. The name of the actual designer is up for debate. For many years it was considered to be the work of Pierre de Montreuil. This has since been revised and it is now debated whether it is the work of Jean de Chelles, Thomas de Cormont or an unidentified master mason from Amiens.

If this is not enough of an attraction, you will also be able to see one of the largest and most extensive collections of stained glass from the 13th century that is still in its original position. There are fifteen massive stained glass windows that fill the nave and apse and a rose window on the western wall. The glass depicts various scenes from both the New and Old Testaments of the Bible. There is also a depiction of how the Passion relics came to be in the Sainte Chapelle and the various miracles that they were involved in.

The Sainte Chapelle was damaged a number of times and has been lovingly restored an equal number of times. It is likely that this magnificent building will stand for many years to come. It is an ideal tourist attraction for those who love magnificent Gothic architecture as well as for those who marvel at stained glass or would just like to see the home of one of the most extensive Christian relic collections in history.

Nearby attractions: Notre Dame Cathedral and The Latin Quarter

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes - Free entry with the Paris Pass

Open Now: Yes! Some attractions may restrict entry prior to their closing time.

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France

Phone: 01 53 40 60 80

Official Website: Sainte Chapelle


Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M4Saint-Michel4 minutes
M1, 7, 11, or 14Châtelet6 minutes
RER B or CSaint-Michel - Notre-Dame3 minutes

How to get to Sainte Chapelle by Metro / RER

By Metro: From Metro Line 4 exit at Saint-Michel Station and cross the road to your right and walk north straight across the Saint-Michel Bridge and continue straight ahead to the entrance your left. From Metro Line 1, 7, 11, or 14 exit at Châtelet Station and follow Rue Saint-Denis south crossing the bridge over the River Seine. Keep walking south on Blvd du Palais to the entrance on your right a just little south of the Palace of Justice.

By RER: Take RER B or C to Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame Station; walk north across the Saint-Michel Bridge continuing to the entrance on your left.

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Rated 4.5 out of 5

5 Star Rating This is a don't miss. We went by one time and it was closed for a private concert. I was annoyed b/c it is a ways from other stuff and the schedule isn't posted so you don't always know when they do stuff like that. We almost didn't go back. So glad we did. It is a strange set up with it within the walls of the department of Justice (you go through security). The windows are incredible. Pictures do not do it justice.

Stephanie Valeri - 7 days ago

5 Star Rating Beautiful stained glass windows in a uniquely 2 storey church. The bottom floor has small stained glass windows and I thought that was the main attraction...walk up a dark spiral staircase up one level and you're met with the most magnificent view of stained glass. Particularly beautiful when the sun is shining brightly outside.

David Chan - 26 days ago

5 Star Rating One of my favourite places in Paris. One can not be prepared for the awe-inspiring work that greets you at the top of the flight of stairs. Simply breathtaking. It may be small but try not to rush. Find a place to sit and read the stories being told by the stained glass. The more I looked into the details, the more I appreciated the beauty of the place. In every pane was a story told. As I left the churched and looked back at the outside structure again, it finally struck me why this place affected me so, one would never suspect that such an unassuming church could hold such a gem. As in life, the truly wonderful occur in places and at times one least expects.

Kito D.V. - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Since this is located inside the secure area of a French Government building, expect a line to both clear security and another at the ticket section getting into the church. A Museum Pass is helpful as it allows you to skip people buying tickets here. There are two levels (open to the public) the bottom chapel open to the commoners (of it's day) which is beautiful but cramped by Gothic standards. Once you take in the bottom chapel, find your way upstairs to the soaring beauty of the chapel designed to hold the Crown of Thorns. While the Crown is not on display, the beautiful stained glass of this church is magnificent and impressive.

Scott Markwell - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating This chapel is breathtaking. There are many churches and monuments in Paris and I would have to say that this was one of the most incredible places I visited. When you enter the chapel you see a few exhibits and the shop and the second floor is the actual chapel. I walked up the stairs and when entering the room it was literally breathtaking. The stained glass is so beautiful and bright even on the rainy day I visited. I didn't have an audio guide but I used the reference sheets in the chapel on the different stories being illustrated and how to read the stained glass. Make sure you take a seat and look at all the different elements of the chapel. It's quite small but it's a feast for the eyes. The line to get in was atrocious but I had the museum pass and didn't wait at all - I highly recommend that.

Michael Romero - 2 months ago


Informative video about the history and beautiful architectural features of Sainte Chapelle

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