Earnest faced angels with pale pink and blue wings and voluminous frocks hover over the six musicians on a tiny stage. Solemn faced saints look down from their lofty perches. Shadows flicker across stained glass windows and sculpted walls that have stood for centuries as the sweet sound of Bach fills the air. An enraptured audience breaks into spontaneous applause as the musicians finish.
This is a concert like no other…
A true taste of culture in Paris inside one of the most ancient of churches where Kings and Queens prayed and religious relics that cost fortunes were once housed – Sainte Chapelle is a legendary building that is now also an incredible night time music venue.
The history of Sainte-Chapelle
It is quite extraordinary to be sitting in this building on the Ile de la Cite where the medieval Kings of France once lived. It’s a short walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral which was begun before the creation of Sainte Chapelle but completed afterwards.
It’s said that Sainte Chapelle took just seven years to build and was consecrated on April 26th, 1248. Its purpose was to house relics which King Louis IX (1214-1270), also known as Saint Louis, had bought. They were said to include fragments of the Crown of Thorns and of the Holy Cross.
The Church of Sainte Chapelle is bijoux and quite stunningly beautiful. There are 15 windows, each 15 metres high, the stained-glass panes depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments recounting the history of the world until the arrival of the relics in Paris. An astonishing work of art that must have been one of the wonders of its time – it still is.
Music at Sainte Chapelle
You can visit Sainte Chapelle during the day and, when the sun shines through those awesome windows, it’s like standing in a diamond encrusted jewel box.
But, for a really magical experience, there are almost nightly classical music concerts held in this ancient place. This is one of the most beautiful, historic buildings of Paris and to sit here and listen to great classical music played by passionate musicians is quite simply an encounter to cherish.
Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach and other great composers have their music played here, the acoustics are magnificent and sends shivers up your spine – it’s a magical night out.
Virtual Visit to Sainte-Chapelle
Take a virtual visit and wander at will through this gorgeous building and ogle at the stained glass up close: Photojpl.com
Sainte-Chapelle, 8 Boulevard du Palais, Ile de la Cite, Paris