Jewel of gothic architecture, la Sainte-Chapelle was built during the second half of 13th Century by Louis IX, the future Saint Louis, to house the relics of the Passion of Christ. Adorned with a unique collection of fifteen glass panels and a large rose window forming a veritable wall of light, Sainte-Chapelle is a gem of French gothic architecture.
In 1239, after two years of negotiations, Louis IX bought Christ’s crown of thorns from Beaudoin II, the Emperor of Constantinople, for a considerable sum. In 1241 he acquired some more relics from Byzantium and decided to build a monument worthy of such treasure, within the Palais de la Cite itself.
As well as its sumptuous windows, Sainte-Chapelle was decorated with wall paintings, which were faithfully restored in 19th Century, and carvings of a remarkable finesse and variety. The splendour of its architecture and decor and the ceremony attached to the worship of its relics had a marked influence on all artistic and liturgical creativity until the 16th Century.