True Colors of Sainte-Chapelle

posted by Sharon October 7, 2014 29 Comments
Paris Sainte-Chapelle

I see your true colors . . . shining through.

Have you noticed how often it takes a while to see the true colors hidden behind the humble exterior? Take my visit to Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. This is a smaller cathedral a short walk from the famed Notre Dame. My first glance showed a gray, dirty building almost hiding in the trees.

Built in 1248, the stone church appears past its prime. It does not impress as you head toward the entrance.

Inside, you can tell that at one time care and color were put into this building. After all, it adjoined a palace and the king attended here.

Chips and faded floors echo better days.

Ah, but then you enter the church proper and the beauty renders you speechless.

The light shines through, and the colors soar above you, up and up, their jewel tones sparkling, surrounding you with breathtaking beauty.

Sainte-Chapelle boasts more than 6,000 square feet of intricately colored glass. Each little piece lights up as the sun moves. During the French Revolution, this became administrative offices. Tall cabinets hid the glass. So when the choir stalls and other parts of the church fell victim to vandalism, these windows weathered the war. The rainbow of colors survived to be enjoyed hundreds of years later.

The surprise of the true colors of Sainte-Chapelle reminds me that too often I judge by outward appearance with people, too. I don’t make the effort to converse with someone because I’m preoccupied or in a hurry or don’t take notice. Beyond a tired, maybe humble exterior, though, most of us have a story just waiting to shine through.

The words to the song, “True Colors” say it well:

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small.

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow.

Here’s hoping you’ll take the time this week to discover the “true colors” of someone in your world.

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photo edited with Kim Klassen’s texture Mary. Also linking up with a song-inspired party, Song-ography, where the theme this week is “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper.

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29 Comments

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Saundra Schuler October 7, 2014 at 2:03 am

Beautiful! well done

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Abrianna October 7, 2014 at 5:24 am

That is a beautiful building. Recently I was at an event and was speaking with someone. When she had to leave she thanked me for talking to her, which made me so sad to think that no one else had spoken to her.

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elizabethfstewart October 7, 2014 at 5:25 am

What an amazing, beautiful place!

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FlowerLady Lorraine October 7, 2014 at 8:52 am

Thank you for this thought provoking post. Your photos are great of a lovely old piece of history still in use and enjoyed in today’s hectic world.

I’ve always loved that song.

Have a nice week ~ FlowerLady

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Tamar October 7, 2014 at 9:06 am

That is some of the most amazing stained glass ever! What a great way to connect your visit there to the song!

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nicki October 7, 2014 at 10:11 am

What a magnificent find on your journey. I could tell from the outside reference to windows that if, indeed, they were stain-glassed, it would have to be simply breath-taking. I can only imagine the rainbow with the light coming through.

We do all need to slow down and take a moment to consider that which lays beneath the exterior. I think of Shrek and his reference to onions. We are all onions. (classy point of reference there, but sometimes the simple reference is the best)

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Molly October 7, 2014 at 10:41 am

The colours in those windows is amazing and perfect for the quote

Mollyxxx

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Carol Blackburn October 7, 2014 at 10:50 am

Love, love, love the stained glass!

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Carol Hart October 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Great stained glass windows. Love that song!

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image-in-ing October 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Stunning images – such talent!

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Marie Rebelle October 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I love to photograph inside a church or cathedral. Lovely photos!

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Sheila October 7, 2014 at 4:08 pm

I love your post – such lovely thoughts. Your images are awesome too – those stained glass windows are gorgeous.

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kim at picking poppies October 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm

When we can get to the core of anything we see the true colors – these are spectacular!

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Susan October 7, 2014 at 5:26 pm

This is beautiful, and a real keeper! Thank you for the pics, the message and the song…truly leaning into life!

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dalettre October 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Been there…but well before my big-girl camera. Now, I definitely need to go back! Gorgeous!

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Carola Bartz October 7, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Sainte-Chapelle is one of the true wonders in Paris – absolutely stunning and amazing. Yes, you really don’t think that such a jewel is hidden there.

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erkreins October 7, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Absolutely beautiful. I was there in 1956 and marveled at the structure and colors. Unfortunately all my photos from then are lost. Your images bring back the memories for me.

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Kathy October 8, 2014 at 12:30 am

Oh my…the colors of St. Chapelle! I was there on a cloudy and rainy day and it was STILL magnificent. I can only imagine its beauty on a sunny day. Thanks for joining in at Song-ography.

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Ida P. Krause October 8, 2014 at 3:12 am

Oh wow those windows are stunning. A good message here as well.

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Peabea October 8, 2014 at 4:00 am

Awesome photos Sharon. Very nice. 🙂

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Diana October 8, 2014 at 6:31 am

What an amazingly beautiful place.

Diana

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Barbara October 8, 2014 at 6:38 am

That place is stunning!! And I love the song! Thanks for sharing.

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buckeroomama1 October 8, 2014 at 6:52 am

The stained glass windows are so beautiful!

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Catherine October 8, 2014 at 11:03 am

I haven’t been to Sainte-Chapelle yet, and have put it on my list… the stain glass looks absolutely stunning! Love love love the reference to True Colors, so true…

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brooke neal October 8, 2014 at 6:46 pm

This is a great church and all because of those windows!

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Desirae R October 9, 2014 at 6:59 am

What a stunning church!

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ImagesByCW October 9, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Wow, just wow – those colored glass windows are amazing. And I have seen quite a few on different travels in Europe. Magnificent. And true.

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Kelleyn October 10, 2014 at 5:37 am

Seriously Beautiful! Have a great weekend!

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Anne@Grit and Giggles October 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

I do find this church impressive, I guess that is because it is something we don’t have here, something with such history. Those stained glass windows are amazing, the light shining through them would be so spectacular to see.

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