Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saint Chapelle

On Tuesday I had to go to the US Embassy to request an "attestation" of my Drivers License, so I can exchange it with the prefecture for a French one. The appointment wasn't until the afternoon, so I took the time to follow the advice of my father on what to "not miss" while I'm here.

Sainte Chapelle is supposed to be the best repository of original stained glass in all of Europe (the world?) It was built in the mid 13th century by King Louis IX, who was apparently a very devout guy. (As Kings go, I guess).
Anyway, to get there, you go to the Isle de Cite in the middle of Paris, then walk all the way around the Palais de Justice (which has a bunch of armed officers around every entrance). Wait in line awhile, let them scan your bag and walk through a metal detector... then you finally get to the entrance to the museum.

The lower level was apparently built for the rif-raf (though actually quite beautiful and elaborately painted). You climb up one of the sets of stairs at one end of the chapel. As you come up and out, you see this...

It is truly breath-taking. You can go to the linked website to get more info if you want to. Here's my take though...

The first five sets of windows tell the stories of the first five books of the bible. But as it goes around (there are 14 sections), it becomes the story of Jesus. In the latter sections, it tells the story of how the French Kings are somehow direct descendants of the Jews. I got a little confused there. Somehow I missed how the Promised Land moved to Europe.

Stunning, though. Here is the picture I took...

And, a bonus picture of my biggest & my littlest. Getting along. And liking it.


  1. I always like it when you take my advice, especially when you like the result.

  2. Wow...beautiful!!! Thanks for the pictures. :)