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Sainte Chapelle is located in the heart of Paris, just a stone’s throw from Notre Dame. You can visit this extraordinary building easily and without having to travel far, because it couldn’t be more central than the Ile de la Cité. We tell you why it’s worth a visit and how you can even save money when buying your tickets!
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Are you planning your Paris itinerary and can’t decide which highlights to visit? Deciding which world-class museum, architectural gem or must-see destination is bound to be difficult. We’ll make it easier for you — Sainte Chapelle should be on every itinerary. It is one of the most breathtaking and fascinating destinations in Paris.
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Sainte Chapelle – What is it?
Consecrated in 1248, Sainte Chapelle Paris is a royal chapel at the heart of Paris’s oldest district, the Île de la Cité (City Island) in the river Seine. The first Frankish King (Clovis I) founded Île de la Cité on a former Roman fortress in 508 AD. It became the seat of French kings for eight centuries.
In 1238, the acclaimed Capetian King Louis IX commissioned a chapel fit for a king. What emerged is one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in France. Sainte Chapelle’s most celebrated feature is the incredible 13th-century stained-glass windows, among the finest in the world. Depicting precisely 1,113 biblical scenes, they soar 15 meters to the ceiling, filling the room with a rare and beautiful light. More than just an opulent place of worship, Sainte Chapelle Paris once housed Louis IX’s extensive collection of Christian relics, including Christ’s crown of thorns (now safely stored in the Notre-Dame cathedral.)
The neighboring Conciergerie also welcomes visitors. Former royal halls transformed into a courthouse and jail where Marie Antionette and other nobles were imprisoned during the French Revolution. Together with Sainte Chapelle, the two buildings form the remains of the first royal palace in France.
Sainte Chapelle Admission – How to visit Sainte Chapelle
Overlooked by the Palais de Justice and Cour de Cassation, France’s premier appeals court, additional security measures mean it is wise to plan your trip to Sainte Chapelle. Here’s what you need to know.
I recommend that you buy your tickets for the Sainte Chapelle in advance so that you have priority admission.
- Regular ticket: 11.50€
- Combined ticket for Sainte Chapelle and Conciergerie: 18.50€.
Best price-performance ratio
Entrance Sainte Chapelle
River Cruise Seine
Walking Tour through the Ile de la Cité
You can rent audio guides in 5 languages for €3 (English, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese). A free app is available to learn more about the awe-inspiring windows.
The following visitors gain free entry:
- anyone aged under 18
- European Union citizens aged 18-25
- disabled visitors
Sainte Chapelle Tipps
Amazingly, anyone can visit for free if you’re in Paris at the right time. Sainte Chapelle — like many destinations in Paris — is free on the first Sunday of January, February March, November, and December. Entry is also free during European Heritage Days, on the 3rd weekend of September.
for Sainte Chapelle
If you want to visit more museums or attractions in Paris, you can save money by purchasing the Paris Pass or the Paris Museum Pass. The Paris Pass includes entry to the Chapelle and over 60 other attractions in Paris.
Security at Sainte Chapelle
Overlooked by the Palace of Justice, security is unusually high for a tourist destination. Potentially dangerous items are prohibited and bags are inspected. You can check out the restrictions here.
Is the visit worth it?
In a word, yes. Few places in Paris have as much wow factor. If you imagine yourself walking in the footsteps of history makers while drinking in the grandeur of beautiful medieval construction, then Sainte Chapelle is for you. Add in the exceptional stained-glass windows — intact for nearly 800 years —and Sainte Chapelle Paris ranks amongst the must-see destinations.
Sainte Chapelle History
The history of Sainte Chapelle Paris weaves together royalty, revolution, and religion. Finished just a century before the royal household moved on to more comfortable surroundings, it is an imperious testament to the majesty of the Capetian dynasty under Louis IX, aka Louis the Saint. Originally built to house the pious and respected king’s collection of Christian relics, the building divides into two chambers. An upper chamber for the royal family, with a small lower chamber where courtiers and household staff worshipped.
A symbol of nobility and the church —twin targets of the zealous revolutionaries of 1789— Sainte Chapelle Paris managed to survive the French Revolution (not to mention floods and fires). Although it ceased being a recognized church after being secularized during the revolution, the chapel remains an important French monument. Despite sharing an island with the show-stealing Notre Dame!
Sainte Chapelle – FAQ
Here I answer the most frequently asked questions.
Where is Sainte Chapelle?
You’ll find it right in the centre of Paris on the Ile de Cité, just a stone’s throw from Notre Dame. The address is 10 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 – it’s in the 1st arrondissement. From the chapel, you can also take a leisurely stroll to the Louvre via the Pont au Change with its beautiful view of the Seine and the Pont Neuf and Pont Notre-Dame.
How do I get to Sainte Chapelle Paris?
Several bridges connect Île de la Cité, including the illustrious Pont Neuf.
The most direct routes to Sainte Chapelle are via Pont Saint-Michel (Left Bank) or Pont au Change (Right Bank).
The nearest Métro stations are Station Cité (line 4) and Station Châtelet (lines 1, 7, 11, 14).
Buses 21, 24, 27, 38, 58, 81, 85, 96 will get you close.
How far is Sainte Chapelle from Notre Dame?
Just 600 meters away, at the eastern end of Île de la Cité.
Do I need to book my visiting time in advance?
You can arrive on the day and choose from available times. However, it is better to jump online and lock in your preferred slot. Whenever you go, an allocated time is necessary on weekdays to meet the security requirements of the Palace of Justice. Reservations are advisable at weekends, as visitors with allocated slots get priority.
How long should I allow for a visit?
One hour. Surprisingly cavernous, the ornate decorations and stained-glass windows reward patience. Allow another hour if you plan to visit the Conciergerie.
What is there to visit nearby?
The historically important Île de la Cité is home to some of Paris’s oldest and most remarkable landmarks, including:
- Notre Dame de Paris – the soaring gothic cathedral begun in 1163 and completed in 1345. Currently being restored following the devastating fire of 2019.
- Hôtel-Dieu – the oldest working hospital in the world, originally opened in 651 AD.
- Pont Neuf – Paris’s oldest surviving bridge and a magnet for photo-hungry tourists.
Where to get refreshments?
Place Dauphine is a triangular ‘square’ on the western tip of the island. A 10-15 minute walk from Sainte Chapelle, Place Dauphine is lined with cafes and restaurants and the perfect spot to grab some refreshments.
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