Date 1241-48

Movement Gothic | Rayonnant

Located at Paris, France


This palace chapel built under Louis IX (St. Louis)— the royal family would have had direct access to a private second story directly from the medieval Palais de la Cité. Aside from acting as a royal chapel, this holy structure was also built to house important relics, including the Crown of Thorns, a part of the True Cross and other pieces from the Passion.


So much of the walls have been pierced with glass that smaller buttresses were able to be used, given the reduced amount of weight; this in turn reduced the amount of shadows falling upon the windows.


The interior is so highly decorated with gold and jewel-like stained glass windows that it creates a heavenly space—a testament to the holy relics it contained and the royal status of its patron; further, as at the Hagia Sophia with its lace-like stonework; the structural components here mask their strength, giving them a gravity-defying appearance.