Though we have been to Paris a few times, it always impresses me that we have never "seen it all". This trip, we stayed on the Ile St. Louis and walked through the Ile de la Cité a number of times. I looked up what was around us and discovered Sainte-Chappelle was right where we were passing by, but is now located inside the Palais du Justice. Hey, I've got culture, let's go see it!The Sainte-Chapelle ("Holy Chapel") was built between 1246-1248 by Louis IX, king of France, to house the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the True Cross, precious relics of the Passion. Louis had purchased these in 1239 from the Byzantine emperor Baldwin II, for the sum of 135,000 livres, for perspective the entire chapel itself cost 40,000 livres to build.
Perceived as a symbol of both religion and royalty, the Sainte-Chapelle suffered considerable damage as a result of the French Revolution. Its furniture, stalls and choir wall disappeared, the spire was knocked down, and the holy relics were scattered. Most of the statues were saved.
It is renowned for its richly hued stained glass windows, comprising over 6,000 sq ft. Two-thirds of the pieces are original works, representing the finest examples of 12th century craftsmanship.
For a few euros more, we were able to visit the "Concierge" next door. This was once a palace, and then became a prison. It's most famous resident was Marie Antoinette before she was beheaded. It's historical. It's creepy. I won't repeat that tour, and I decided to not post any photos of it either. But we did it.