King Louis IX of France

Statue of King Louis IX in Lower Chapel of the Sainte-Chapelle

Statue of King Louis IX in Lower Chapel of the Sainte-Chapelle

King Louis IX of France, of the Capetian dynasty, reigned from 1226 to 1270 A.D. He was a peacemaker in Europe and he constantly performed anonymous charity services. Louis seriously wanted to convert the French Jews to Catholicism, as he himself was a devout Catholic. He was canonized a saint in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII.

Louis’ strongest desire was to go on a crusade and recapture Jerusalem. He embarked upon the Seventh Crusade and shortly after capturing the small port of Damietta he was taken prisoner by the Egyptians. But being a person of great importance, he was able, through negotiations and bribes, to be freed. Louis then embarked upon the Eighth Crusade. However, an outbreak of a plague came upon the crusaders and Louis himself died from it in 1270.

The magnificent, jaw-dropping Sainte-Chapelle on the Île de la Cité in Paris, France was commissioned by Louis IX to enshrine the crown of thorns, a deeply desired relic of Christ. The Sainte-Chapelle was constructed as a medieval Gothic church using the architectural style called Rayonnant. This style is characterized by a sense of weightlessness and a vertical emphasis. The construction of this chapel lasted for nine years.

Upper chapel

Upper Chapel


The Sainte-Chapelle has an almost fully stained glass interior in its upper chapel. Most of the richly colored glass panels depict saints and Christian martyrs. The three windows in the eastern apse, the area where the altar normally stands, render details of the New Testament. These three windows depict the Passion (center), the Infancy of Christ (left), and the Life of John the Evangelist (right). In contrast, the areas of the nave, central area of chapel, depict scenes from the Old Testament. There are twelve statues of the twelve apostles around the upper chapel.

Unfortunately, a lot of damage occurred during the French Revolution. Many restorations were completed in the 19th and 21st centuries. Yet, over two-thirds of the gorgeous Sainte-Chapelle is still original. I have really want to go to this amazing cathedral, ever since I fell in love with the resplendent stained glass and vibrant, original colors of the lower chapel. (among the million other details)

The Chapel's Rose

The Chapel’s Rose


Ceiling of Lower Chapel



Sainte-Chapelle's Sublime Main Altar

Sainte-Chapelle’s Sublime Main Altar

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