This and other posts are part of the "Paris Tour" party on Anita's blog, "Castles, Crowns and Cottages." The links are at the bottom of her lovely post HERE.)
If I had to advise someone on the "must see" church in Paris, it wouldn't be the enormous Notre Dame or St. Sulpice with its notable organ. It would be Sainte-Chapelle. So, after our visit to Montmartre, we were off to hear a concert!
When I visited Paris in 2009, I spent a good deal of time enjoying the beauty and history of Sainte-Chapelle, a ethereal church built in 1248 (Louis IX) to house the Crown of Thorns (now at Notre Dame.)
The Crown of Thorns was to go in this small altar, high above the main altar.
The windows are glorious, soaring to 50 feet, all depicting biblical scenes. When one enters, there is an involuntary gasp, as the windows reach heavenward and fill the room with reflected colors.
We were headed to Sainte-Chapelle for a Vivaldi concert. There are a number of these done at the chapel -- Rick calls them "tourist trap concerts" because they play the old favorites. (In this case, we were going to hear "The Four Seasons.") He prefers his music a bit more off the map.
Well, I love "The Four Seasons," and frankly, I would go to Sainte-Chapelle to hear them sing nursery rhymes, if they did it well!
We walked into the chapel, lit only with the electric candles and the light from the stained glass
It was simply perfect.
The twelve pillars of the apostles line both sides of the chapel. Carved in stone, they are intricate and lovely.
So, too, are the paintings on the walls. This is one of three panels by the rose window in the back of the chapel, where one enters.
The concert was 30 euros or about $45 and it was well performed, though frankly, I think we pay most for the venue.
That said, there is an admission fee to Sainte-Chapelle if you are touring it in the daytime. The admission includes the upper and lower chapels and you can take your time getting a bit closer to things.
If music isn't your thing, it would be less expensive to do the daytime admission and see the entire chapel. (Gift shop and lower chapel were closed when we attended the concert.)
But if it is, check out the concerts at this link. We were "stuck" with the "Four Seasons" due to issues with our own scheduling, but there are other options, usually two or three concerts during a week.
The acoustics are terrific and of course, you can buy a souvenir of your evening after the show!
Tickets are available at the door, but there is limited seating. You can get them ahead if seeing a concert there is really on your agenda.
I'm not sure if Sainte-Chapelle is on the "Museum Pass" which allows you to skip the lines and go straight in. It's worth a check -- the lines can be long during the day.
Read up a bit on this one before you go, so you don't miss anything. During the day there are helpful laminated info sheets in a variety of languages to let you self-tour. At night, these aren't there.
If you are attending a concert, there is a small restaurant across the street and down the block from Sainte-Chapelle that offers respectable paninis at a reasonable price. It's not fancy but it's pretty fast and tasty!