The Sainte-Chapelle and Conciergerie are two of the most iconic and significant monuments in Paris. Located on the Île de la Cité, they are part of the larger complex of the Palais de la Cité, the original seat of the French monarchy.
The Sainte-Chapelle was built by King Louis IX in the 13th century as a royal chapel. It was designed to house precious relics, including Christ’s crown of thorns, and is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The chapel is renowned for its spectacular stained glass windows, which cover almost the entire surface of the walls.
The Conciergerie was originally built as a palace in the 9th century and served as a prison during the French Revolution. It was the last place of detention for many prominent figures, including Marie Antoinette, before they were sent to the guillotine. Today, it is a museum that houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the Revolution.
Architecture of the Sainte-Chapelle
The Sainte-Chapelle is a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. It is composed of two levels, each with a separate entrance. The lower level, which is now used for concerts and other events, is a hall with a vaulted ceiling and columns. The upper level, which is where the chapel itself is located, is a tall, rectangular room with an arched ceiling and walls made of stained glass.
The stained glass windows of the Sainte-Chapelle are some of the most remarkable in the world. They depict stories from the Bible and other religious scenes, and the colors are incredibly vibrant. The lower windows are larger and feature simple designs, while the upper windows are smaller and more intricate.
History of the Conciergerie
The Conciergerie was originally built as a palace in the 9th century and served as the seat of the French monarchy until the 14th century. It then became a prison and remained so until the French Revolution. During this time, it was the last place of detention for many prominent figures, including Marie Antoinette, before they were sent to the guillotine.
Today, the Conciergerie is a museum that houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the Revolution. Visitors can explore the prison cells and learn about the people who were held there, as well as the circumstances of their incarceration. The museum also has an exhibition about the French Revolution and its legacy.
Visiting the Sainte-Chapelle and Conciergerie
The Sainte-Chapelle and Conciergerie are two of the most iconic monuments in Paris. They can be visited separately or as part of a guided tour of the Palais de la Cité. Both sites are open to the public and offer audio guides in multiple languages.
- Address: 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris
- Opening hours: 9:30am-5pm (closed on Tuesdays)
- Admission: €8
- Address: 2 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris
- Opening hours: 10am-6pm (closed on Mondays)
- Admission: €9
The Sainte-Chapelle and Conciergerie are two of the most important monuments in Paris and offer a unique insight into the history of the city. From the spectacular stained glass windows of the Sainte-Chapelle to the dark history of the Conciergerie, these two sites are a must-see for any visitor to the city.