Sainte Chapelle Paris

La Sainte-Chapelle (English: The Holy Chapel) is a Gothic chapel on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris, France. It is perhaps the high point of the full tide of the rayonnante period of Gothic architecture. It is famous for housing Christian relics including the crown of thorns brought to the site by Louis IX. The Sainte-Chapelle, the palatine chapel in the courtyard of the royal palace on the Île de la Cité, was built to house precious relics: Christ's crown of thorns, the Image of Edessa and thirty other relics of Christ that had been in the possession of Louis IX since August 1239, when it arrived from Venice in the hands of two Dominican friars. Unlike many devout aristocrats, who swiped relics, the saintly Louis bought his precious relics of the Passion, purchased from the Latin emperor at Constantinople, Baldwin II, for the exorbitant sum of 135,000 livres, which was paid to the Venetians, to whom it had been pawned. The entire chapel, by contrast, cost 40,000 livres to build and until it was complete the relics were housed at chapels at the Château de Vincennes and a specially-built chapel at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The most visually beautiful aspects of the chapel, and considered the best of their type in the world, are its stained glass for which the stonework is a delicate framework, and rose windows added to the upper chapel in the fifteenth century.

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