Ageless Beauty at Sainte-Chapelle

posted by Sharon Odegaard 35 Comments
Sainte-Chapelle Paris

The beauty of Sainte-Chapelle, in the heart of Paris, amazes all who enter here, but it is easy to miss. From the outside, this chapel that dates from 1248 is unimpressive. Sainte-Chapelle

Its neighbor Notre Dame is only a couple of blocks away and seems to get all the attention. But don’t let the exterior fool you. Come on inside!

Sainte-Chapelle is known for its stained glass windows. It boasts more than 6,000 square feet of intricately colored glass. The panes depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments and recount the history of the world up to the 13th century. Sainte-ChapelleSainte-Chapelle

Sainte-ChapelleSainte-ChapelleKing Louis IX, who lived next door in what is now known as the Conciergerie, built the church to house the relics he collected from Venice. 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. Sainte-ChapelleSainte-Chapelle

The entrance level is a small chapel that’s now a gift store. Be sure to find the stairs at one corner and make your way up to the second level for the stained glass. Sainte-Chapelle

And don’t forget to look up at the ceiling and down at the floor. The sculptures in the doorway are intricate, too.  Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-ChapelleSainte-ChapelleSainte-ChapelleAge did affect these lovely windows. All the panes were recently restored. Here’s how the windows looked pre-2008. Sainte-Chapelle from website












The restoration was completed in 2014. Today, each colorful piece of glass lights up as the sun moves. Sainte-Chapelle

As you stand below these windows of Sainte-Chapelle, you can take in the colors and marvel that this art survives all these centuries later. Sainte-Chapelle


Hours: Open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (later in the summer)

Location: 8 Boulevard du Palais; use Metro line 4, Cite

One excellent way to explore Paris is with a walking tour. I highly recommend Take Walks Paris!

Where to stay

Paris offers hundreds of hotels. It’s sometimes overwhelming to start looking for a place to stay. Here are a few suggestions for lovely hotels near some of the sites mentioned. With the excellent Paris Metro system, you will be able to arrive wherever you like with just a little planning.

Near the Invalides: The Hotel de Varenne is exquisitely decorated and includes an inviting patio. You can walk from here to the Invalides as well as the Rodin Museum. (7th arrondissement)

Near the Pantheon: Hotel des Grand Hommes and (right next door) the Hotel les Dames du Pantheon. Both of these elegant hotels are across the street from the Pantheon. From my balcony room at the Grand Hommes I watched the sun rise on the iconic Pantheon. (5th arrondissement)

Near the Museum of the Liberation of Paris: Hotel Serotel Lutece is in the Latin Quarter, not exactly near the museum. But it is within comfortable walking distance. You can also walk from here to the Pantheon, Notre Dame, and Sainte-Chapelle. Not only is this a comfortable, attractive hotel, but I also found the staff here to be extra helpful with directions and information. (5th arrondissement)

Central to wherever you want to go: Hotel Moliere, themed on the French poet, is a delightful hotel near the Louvre. It is surprisingly affordable for this pricey area. You can walk or take the Metro to any sites you would like to visit. (1st arrondissement)


Consider a side trip to the D-Day Beaches and Normandy

History comes alive when you visit the D-Day Beaches in Normandy. Just a two-hour train ride or drive from Paris, the Normandy beaches offer battle sites and museums. Pay respects at the many somber cemeteries. Stay in charming Bayeux. Normandy makes a great side trip if you are going to Paris.

Places to visit include Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, and Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches. If you have time, include all 5 D-Day Beaches in your itinerary for an amazing overview of June 6, 1944 and Operation Overlord.

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Paris WWII Sites for History Lovers
A Few Hours in Paris
The Invalides – Where Paris History Comes Alive
The Conciergerie – Marie Antoinette’s Prison
Reasons to Visit the Eiffel Tower
Tips for Your First Trip to Paris
Climbing Up Into the Eiffel Tower
Exploring the Rodin Museum
5 Reasons to Visit Luxembourg Gardens
Paris Gardens to Enjoy
The D’Orsay Museum in Paris
A Walk in the Latin Quarter

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on them may result in a commission being paid if you purchase afterwards. This is at no extra cost to you. All opinions are always my own.

Sharon Odegaard bio


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bettyl - NZ at

What an amazing church! I’m so glad you shares its beauty with us, those windows are just fabulous!

Jesh StG at

Amazing in how far they have been b=able to restore all the glass of the stained glass windows. Glad I didn’t have that job! Ah, I can see how much we haven’t seen in Paris – only the outside of the Notre Dame, lol. Many thanks Sharon for sharing this beauty of the Sainte chapelle with All seasons:)! Have a great week!

Tamar Strauss-Benjamin at

That stained glass – just wow!

Neesie at

Oh my Goodness Sharon…these images are breath-taking!
Sainte-Chapelle will definitely be on my list to visit. Those windows are so exquisite!
Thank you for sharing these amazing photos… Have a great week 😀

Photo Cache at

Wow! Loss for words.

Worth a Thousand Words

Fun60 at

My favourite building in Paris. Beautiful photos.

Angie at

Sharon – these are wonderful pictures – especially the first few – as I scrolled down them, it looked like they were getting closer to me – not sure if you did this on purpose, but it was very captivating!

Jim, Sydney, Australia at

Looks amazing

Cathy H at

Wonderful post! The windows are amazing!

Holly at

Nothing short of spectacular! Thankfully all these windows are still here to enjoy hundreds of years later. Just Wow!!

Patrick Weseman at

Wow, so very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Johlene Orton at

Absolutely breathtaking!!

Hilary at

We absolutely loved our visit to this beautiful and somewhat hidden gem! So nice revisiting it today via your wonderful photos! #citytripping

Kelleyn Rothaermel at

Gorgeous! I am always impressed how each cathedral looks so different.

Lins @ Boo & Maddie at

My goodness those stained glass windows are just something else, what an incredible building #citytripping

Lolo at

They certainly did a wonderful job restoring it!! I’ve been dying to go for years!! Your pictures are MAJESTIC! #CityTripping

Life Images by Jill at

This certainly is a glorious chapel. I remember visiting about 12 years ago during out trip to Paris. Thank you for taking me back there today through Communal Global. Happy travels.

Mandy at

I went to Sainte=Chapelle a few Christmases ago and wasn’t super impressed. But, to be fair, we were visiting at night, so seeing the beauty of the stain glass windows and all of the intricate design simply didn’t happen. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous images of this church; maybe I’ll have to make a visit there when it’s light out so I can actually see what I missed the first time through! 🙂

Forgetfulone at

Someday I’d love to see it in person. I think my daughter went there when she studied abroad. It’s impressive from the outside, but the inside photos are absolutely breathtaking. I can only imagine how beautiful it is in person.

Cathy (Mummytravels) at

This is such a beautiful place, one of my favourites in Paris – I’m always surpris5es it’s not more popular. Gorgeous photos. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping and sharing

Ruth | Tanama Tales at

This place is so, so impressive! I have been to Paris only once but didn’t know this place existed. A little bit sad I missed it. BUt, now I know about it and hope to make it back to Paris soon. #FarawayFiles

Katy at

I only recently discovered Sainte Chappelle and we visited in March. It is every bit as beautiful as you have described. The craftsmanship in the glass is aweinspiring. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

Wendy Maes at

I visited this one many years ago but it’s still one of the most beautiful churches I ever saw. Thanks for sharing. @TheWeeklyPostcard

Nancy @ NY Foodie Family at

What a beautiful church! I missed this on our Paris trip many years ago!

Anisa at

Wow the stained glass is amazing. I have not been, but it’s definitely on my list for my next trip to Paris. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

Buckeroomama at

The stained glass there is just amazing! I was pretty much in awe at every church that we visited in Paris. They feel so ‘old world.’ I loved them.

Michelle at

I love how you’ve been highlighting all these hidden gems in Paris that I never knew about. Sainte Chapelle is so beautiful and amazingly well-preserved, considering its age. It’s on my list for the next time I visit! Thanks for sharing!

Esther at

Oh, I am such a sucker for stained glass windows. Just beautiful! Thanks for the peek inside.

Anda at

You’ve got some stunning photos of these stained glass windows, Sharon. I love Saint Chapelle and I remember taking some beautiful photos there too, many years ago. I miss Paris! #TheWeeklyPostcard

Lessandra Grimley at

Absolutely beautiful windows!! I hope some day I’ll get to visit Sainte Chapelle. Wonderful photos!

Helena at

This is a delight for the eyes. Thank you for sharing this gem. #FarawayFiles

Erin Gustafson | Oregon Girl Around the World at

Such a classic! It’s been a while since I’ve been inside – couldn’t convince the teens to check it out this past February. Maybe next time! Thank you for sharing with #FarawayFiles!

Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) at

We absolutely loved Ste Chapelle! After the crowds at Notre Dame, the relative quite of the chapel was welcomed, and the beauty of the stained glass is just astounding! Incidentally, admission is now included with the Paris Museum Pass, which we understand was not the case a few years ago. That makes the pass an even better deal! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

Jill at

How stunning! And that they survived the war behind the tall cabinets is just amazing – I’m so glad they did so people can treasure them for yours to come.


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