Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle Paris

Sainte Chapelle, Boulevard du Palais, Pariz, Francija

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Sainte Chapelle Paris

The Palais de la Cite was the residence and seat of royal power from the 10th to the 14th centuries, and housed the Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle Paris, which are now part of the Palace of Justice, the new function of the building.

The Sainte Chapelle Paris was built between 1242 and 1248, in accordance withe the wishes of Louis IX (king from 1226 to 1270 and the future Saint Louis) to house the relics of the Passion of the Christ. The most famous of these relics was the Crown of Thorns, now in Notre dame de Paris, acquired in 1239 for a sum that greatly exceeded the cost of building the Chapel itself. 

Sainte Chapelle Paris

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Two sanctuaries, one on the top of the other

From the beginning, the relics were displayed and worshipped in the upper chapel. Only the king, his close friends and family, and the canons leading the services entered it via the outdoor terrace, which at the time was connected to the Palace.

The lower chapel was the place of worship for the palace staff. The Basilica type layout with a semi circular apse was very simple. It was to be used as a model for other Holy Chapels, including those od Vincennes and Chateaudun.

Sainte Chapelle Paris

Sainte Chapelle Paris – Religious and Political Influence

The Holy Relics had belonged to the emperors of Constantinople since the 4th century. In purchasing them, Louis IX added to the prestige of both France and Paris which, in the eyes of medieval Europe, became a New Jerusalem, and hence the second capital of Christianity.

Throughout the revolutionay period, the Sainte Chapelle Paris, which was a simbol of royality bi divine right, suffered a great deal od damage, although the staind glass windws remained intact. From 1846 onwards, a huge wave of restoration work was carried out on the building, giving it its current appearance. See Top 15 Catholic shrines around the world.

The Ile de la Cite – The seat of royal power

In the 1st century BC, the Parissi, a Gallic tribe settled on an island in the middle of the river Seine, later known as the Ile de la Cite, and founded the town of Lutetia, which in the 5th century took the name of Paris. In the 6 th century Glovis, the first French king, made the Palais de la Cite his royal residence.

His son Childebert had Paris’s first cathedral built. At the end of the 10th century, Hugues Capet, the first Capetian king, established his royal council and government in the palace, which thus the seat of royal power.

The Ile de la Cite – The seat of royal power

In the 1st century BC, the Parissi, a Gallic tribe settled on an island in the middle of the river Seine, later known as the Ile de la Cite, and founded the town of Lutetia, which in the 5th century took the name of Paris.

In the 6 th century Glovis, the first French king, made the Palais de la Cite his royal residence. His son Childebert had Paris’s first cathedral built. At the end of the 10th century, Hugues Capet, the first Capetian king, established his royal council and government in the palace, which thus the seat of royal power.

A palace deserted by its kings

In 1248 when Louis IX signed the deed founding the Saint Chapelle in the nearby Cathedral of Notre Dame, already had its current facade.

In 1358, the advisors to King John (the Good) were assassinated before the eyes of the Dauphin, the future Charles V, who once he became king decided to move to better protected premises, firstly the Hotel Saint-Pol, one of his Paris residences (no longer standing), then to the Louvre and Vincennes.

The royal govrnment,Parliament, Chancery and the Chamber of accounts remaind in the apetian palace for a while, but as the centuries passed, only the law courts and prison stayed on. Nowdays, the Saint Chapelle and the Conciergerie are the only visible remains of the oldest palace of the kings of France.

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