Wednesday, April 12, 2023

La Sainte-Chapelle, visit with Rosemary Flannery

It’s raining outside ๐Ÿ™ (Hallelujah! we need it). The birds are singing like mad.

Yesterday Rosemary Flannery had a spare ticket for Sainte-Chapelle and invited me to join her.

This is Paris tour guide, Rosemary of Angels of Paris fame - a lovely gift book if you’re mad for Parisian architecture + angels ๐Ÿ‘ผ …who isn’t?

Never pass up a chance to visit this glorious stained-glass heaven, especially with a French history & art expert.

I learned more about king Louis IX, (builder of Sainte-Chapelle in a mere 7 years and shown here in his polychrome faded glory)than any normal person needs to know.

In a nutshell this handy Reddit diagram tells all.

We are in the downstairs portico where the hoi-poloi were allowed. It’s nice to be with someone who knows the names of the botanical leaves on the column capitals - these are oak. The carved leaves vary on each capitol. 

We go up the almost hidden, steep, tiny circular staircase 

Et voila! King Louis’ floor. He had his own private entrance and even a small window ๐ŸชŸ  so he could check to see who was there.

My last visit to Sainte-Chapelle was in 2015 when I was making the rounds of as many French Gothic cathedrals as possible (Saint Denis, Chartres, Amiens, Notre Dame etc.). 

I was so enthralled at the time I was ready to join a convent (I’m not even Catholic). That’s how I know I’m ADD - impulsive and easily distracted ๐Ÿ˜ต‍๐Ÿ’ซ

Back to the present, Rosemary was looking for sculpted birds ๐Ÿฆ amongst the vine leaves she’d read about. Look at these angels! Each one is different. There is much to see besides stained glass.

 Sainte-Chapelle c
onstruction began after 1238. The chapel was consecrated in April 1248. 

FYI there are
 15 stained glass windows 15m high - the stained glass windows of the 1113 scenes of the Old and New Testaments. 

Its purpose was to house King Louis’ precious religious relics brought back from the Crusades, including the Crown of thorns given to him by 
Latin Emperor Baldwin II of Constantinople in 1238. It’s in the Louvre since the 2019 fire in Notre Dame.

Where is Sainte-Chapelle? At 
10, boulevard du Palais on the Ile de la Citรฉ in the middle of the Seine. It opens at 9 am. We got there at 4 pm thinking…it’s a weekday..it can’t be crowded. 
Ha! So many Easter tourists in town and most of them at Sainte-Chapelle. It is the 3rd most visited Paris monument after the Eiffel Tower and l’Arc de Triomphe (since Notre Dame is out of the running). But it didn’t matter in the end. Still a wondrous experience, though do ๐Ÿ‘ get your tickets online in advance. 

And
take in a concert there by all means. 

After our visit we walked up to Cova at Pont Neuf for a panini.

Then I came home and 
painted more macarons & Pavlovas. Please share & do visit Parisbreakfast letters ๐Ÿ’Œ and watercolors on Etsy.          
                         ☔️ ☔️ Bon Mercredi Pbers ☔️ ☔️



30 comments:

  1. Linda Karber2:16 AM

    We went to a concert once at Saint Chapelle. It is so beautiful! A friend gave me the book: Angels of Paris. It is fun looking for them!

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    1. Anonymous2:37 AM

      I too went to a concert there in 2015 - it’s a ‘bucket list’ thing well worth doing and the best way to see the stained glass.

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  2. Anonymous3:32 AM

    We were standing in line to see Ste Chapelle one morning about 20 years ago. There was a strike of the people manning the entrance. A gentleman was walking by and told my husband, “you don’t want to go in now. Return on a Sunny afternoon to see the windows.” And, that we did. There is nothing like the windows of Ste Chapelle. Glorious!

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    1. Anonymous3:50 AM

      What a Great story! I love it ❤️

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  3. Bonnie L6:57 AM

    How lovely to be guided through Sainte-Chapelle by Rosemary. A sunny day is a definite plus for viewing the stained glass…along with a small pair of binoculars to follow the biblical stories.

    It’s almost humorous to think Louis believed that ‘relic’ was the actual Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus, 1200 years later. Ah, faith!

    Sainte-Chapelle is truly a not to be missed wonder. And, definitely go to a concert there in the evening. You enter from the Palais de Justice directly onto the second floor, no need to navigate those narrow circular stairs.

    Beautiful watercolors, Carol! A wonderful souvenir of time spent in Paris at one of their beautiful tea salons. ❤️

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    1. Anonymous11:12 AM

      I doubt he did but it certainly was a precious, symbolic gift from the emperor of Constantinople

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  4. Oh, the light streaming from the window onto the floor! The winding stairs look treacherous!!!

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    1. Anonymous8:30 AM

      The stairway going up & down was scary. C’est comme รงa

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  5. Anonymous7:33 AM

    Rosemary is an astute and interesting tour guide--extraordinaire!

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  6. Anonymous7:56 AM

    I visited St Chapelle in April 2014. I thought it was fascinating that the entire Bible was up there in the windows. Now, reading your post, I understand why.

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  7. Anonymous8:14 AM

    Thank you for your posts. They are often the highlight of my mornings. So inspiring. ❤️

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  8. A wonderful post, as always! Carol, a request: Would you be willing to visit and post photos of the new exhibit at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs on the history of Hair? It sounds fascinating: Des cheveux et des poils. Merci!

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    1. Anonymous9:51 AM

      I probably will see it but I heard if is Very limited in its scope - no POC hair included. There was a wonderful exhibit at musee Branly in 2013 - very inclusive.
      http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2013/02/cheveux-cheris.html

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  9. Quite possibly my favorite spot in Paris. The first time I made it up that creepy little staircase (with great relief!) I just gasped to see that light. It was so unbelievably beautiful. I can't imagine how wonderful it would be to see it with someone who knew the ins and outs of all the most minute architectural details. King Lou sounds like a pretty good guy, apart from the ripping tongues out of heretics. I'm so glad he was wildly obsessed -- we enjoy it all these years later! (And yes -- the concerts are well worth attending, especially if you can do it in the months where there is still light coming through the windows as it begins and before it gets dark. The acoustics are great.)

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    1. Anonymous9:57 AM

      Oh Jeanie ๐Ÿ˜‚ but they all did that didn’t they?

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  10. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Happened upon a concert of Pachelbel's Canon and Vivaldi's Four Seasons there at sunset. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

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  11. I was fortunate to visit Ste-Chapelle on a brilliant sunny day during a soccer World Cup game several years ago -- no line and almost no one there! All watching the game. It was wonderful. Thanks for reminding me of that glorious experience.

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    1. Anonymous11:19 AM

      Very good idea! Go when the tour de France etc. Is taking place in Paris.

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  12. Anonymous11:18 AM

    C’est tres beau!! I want to come see it. I’m sure you must’ve clocked in your 10,000 steps that day and no need for head and neck exercises because you’re stretching and looking upwards for hours. That looks really enjoyable Anabelle

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  13. Rosemary12:02 PM

    Wonderful & witty blog as usual, Carol! Thanks for coming with me. And I love the Reddit diagram, hilarious! Merci!

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    1. Anonymous2:37 PM

      Thank you Rosemary ๐Ÿ˜Š The Louis IX diagram is a unique tool indeed ๐Ÿ‘

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  14. Anonymous12:09 PM

    We came upon it a quiet weekend afternoon..absolutely stunned! and in awe! We had just been to Notre Dame and were wandering around feeling the ancient architecture and imagining scenes of hundreds of years ago after a perfect lunch in a tiny cafe. Thank you!

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  15. I've been to a couple of concerts there and it is heavenly, nothing else like being in that beautiful space listening to beautiful music.

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    1. Anonymous2:38 PM

      Perfect description Suki ๐Ÿ‘

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  16. Anonymous3:07 PM

    remember when i laid on the floor to get a picture of the ceiling? I MISS {PARIS
    Corky

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  17. Anonymous3:08 PM

    You find great places to visit Lynne

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    1. Anonymous3:09 PM

      Just Posters in the metro & street

      Delete
  18. Anonymous7:37 AM

    The concerts there are so so wonderful, but be sure to arrive early, as the doors are closed slightly prior to the concert, and there’s no chance of getting in once closed.

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  19. Anonymous10:36 PM

    One of the most beautiful places I have ever been in. It was like being inside a jewelry box. Love it

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