The Sainte-Chapelle is a royal holy chapel in the Gothic Rayonnant style located in the heart of Paris on theÎle de laCité, within the medieval Palais de la Cité, which was the residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century.
The Saint Chapelle is one of the oldest surviving Chappell, which was built to store relics of King Louis IX including the Crown of thorns of the Christ. The construction of the Chappel began somewhere during 1238 and the Chappell was consecrated in 1248 on the 26thof April.Until the completion of the Chappel, the relics were stores at the Château de Vincennes Chappel. Also a Chappel was specially built at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye to store the relics. The fragments of the True Cross and the Holy Lance joined other relics of the Louis collection in 1246.
Rayonnant Gothic Architecture
Saint-Chapelle boasts of the rich ancient Rayonnant architecture, one of the gems of the French culture. Below is the elaborated description of the exterior, interior and the stained glass section of the Chapell.
Exterior of the Chapel
To the right of the exterior of the Royal Palace is the Grand Degres, which is a grand ceremonial staircase, there is an eastern apse and a north flank to their left. Some of flamboyant representations from the Rayonnant architecture are showcased on the exterior of the Saint-Chapelle. These include those deep buttresses, which are surmounted by pinnacles, vast windows that are divided by a bar tracery and crocketted gables placed around the roof. The internal division into upper and lower chapels is clearly marked on the outside by a string-course, the lower walls pierced by smaller windows with a distinctive spherical triangle shape. Despite its decoration, the exterior is relatively simple and austere, devoid of flying buttresses or major sculpture and giving little hint of the richness within.
The Rich Interiors
The interior of the Saint-Chapelle is a Parisian Chapel, which was made to store relics and is a huge relic in itself. While the stained glasses dominate the interior section, there is a dadi arcade having Quatrefoils, which representthe scenes of martyrs and saints. Each and every part of remaining wall is painted though it doesn’t match the brightness of the original. While there are rich textiles hanging at the ceiling, there are 12 Apostoles, mounted on the clustered shafts above the dado level. These are stoned structures out of which 6 are replicas. Each of the Apostole has a disk having imprint of consecration crosses. There are private oratories of the king and his mother on the North and South side niches of Saint-Chapelle.
Stained Glass Windows:
One of the most attractive features of the Saint-Chapelle is its stained glass windows. There are fifteen beautiful and huge windows from the mid-13th-century, which fill the nave and apse. But, there is large rose window that was included in the upper chapel c.1490; stands out on the western owing to its flamboyant tracery.The windows narrate a series of events from holy catholic books in an iconographic manner. The three windows on the eastern apse explain the New Testament, visual display of the important scenes from the life of John the Evangelist (right), scenes, of the Passion (centre) and the Infancy of Christ (left). But, the windows on the nave, examples of royal kings and queens from the Old Testament. While the cycle of events begins with the depiction of events from the Book of Genesis commence from the western bay of the north wall, it is ended with the instances from the Book of Kings in a clockwise manner. The final most window depicts the latest scenes of kingship from rediscovery of Relics of Christ to their return to Paris and miracles performed and the then return to King Louis.