Paris is such a confusing city. I don’t love it, and half the time, I don’t even know if I like it. BUT… I have never been anywhere that made me constantly want to cry from overwhelming magnificence. There is something about standing in the shadows of centuries-old buildings that will break down even the most iron-hearted of us (though I am pretty emotional). And no building gave me that feeling more than Saint Chapelle Cathedral.
Sainte Chapelle Cathedral looks like nothing from the outside (I didn’t even take any pics). Drab and beige and hidden behind some government buildings, it hardly has 1/5 of the grandeur of Notre Dame. And I hardly wanted to pay the euros to go inside. But going off blind faith that it would be completely worth it, I let myself be dragged out of bed early one morning, and we made our way there.
As soon as I walked in, my eyes widened in amazement. Is this really a church?! I’ve never seen one so… so… COLORFUL. The vaulted ceilings are the brightest shade of royal blue with a brilliant gold fleur-de-lis pattern. Almost like an automatic reflex, I started snapping pictures:
But I was quickly whisked away, and told to not waste my camera batteries… because the best was still waiting.
What?! How can it get even better?!
I was about to find out. I went up to the upper chapel, and my breath immediately caught in my throat. 15 windows rose 15 meters up to the sky, every single inch covered in the most stunning stained glass work I have ever seen! As I soaked it in, I started to feel happy tears prickling at the corners of the eyes. It was one of those moments – when standing in the center of the chapel, dwarfed by the gorgeous stained glass at all sides, light dancing behind them – I felt like crying from happiness. Because 1) my little head can’t wrap around the fact that man made something this beautiful, and 2) I felt so, so grateful and lucky to be able to see it.
I usually don’t devote an entire post on just one place, but this cathedral is utterly deserving of its own gallery. And no words are needed (nor can they ever do it justice), so enjoy these pictures instead!
Sometimes, I am really happy for the fact that I do almost no research of attractions beforehand (much to the chagrin of D). This was one of those times when it was so much better that I didn’t know what to expect. For those of you who have not yet been to Paris, I’m sorry if I ruined the magic of Sainte Chapelle for you a little bit. :P
- Address: 6, Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
- Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
- Price: 8.50 euros entrance
- Tips: Go as early as possible. We got there early with no line, and had the cathedral almost to ourselves with very few people for a little bit. It made the experience just a little better. :)
Have you been to Sainte Chapelle? Were you as easily impressed as me? What are some of your favorite cathedrals?