Tuesday, March 27, 2007
i do believe sainte chapelle was my favorite sight in paris. i was completely unprepared for it and was taking my photographs in the servants chapel when my husband suggested there was an upstairs. we walked up the narrow stone spiral stairs in the corner, which are completely closed in all around and maybe a storey and a half high, and when my husband hit the top step and moved to the side i immediately burst into tears. i think it was the combination of the magnificent beauty and the absolute shock of it, it was completely overwhelming. there was a lot of scaffolding in place for repairs inside and out, but i managed to get a few photographs around it.
in the middle ages, sainte chapelle was called a gateway to heaven. the 50 foot tall stained glass windows start on one side of the chapel representing 1,000 or so biblical scriptures starting with genesis and traveling around the room through the crucifixion and the apocolypse. louis ix completed the chapel in 1248 to hold what he believed to be the crown of thorns and fragments of the cross, which he purchased from the emperor of constantinople for 3 times more than the cost of constructing the chapel. during the revolution the chapel was badly damaged and became a warehouse for storing flour. it was renovated 100 years later by architect viollet-le-duc.