Good for: stars, looking up
Lonely Planet review for Sainte Chapelle
The place to visit on a sunny day! Security checks make it long and snail-slow to get into this gemlike Holy Chapel, the most exquisite of Paris’ Gothic monuments, tucked away within the walls of the Palais de Justice (Law Courts). But once in, be dazzled by Paris’ oldest and finest stained glass – the light on sunny days is extraordinary.
Built in just under three years (compared with nearly 200 for Notre Dame), Ste-Chapelle was consecrated in 1248. The chapel was conceived by Louis IX to house his personal collection of holy relics (including the Holy Crown now kept in the treasury at Notre Dame). The chapel’s exterior can be viewed from across the street from the law courts’ magnificently gilded 18th-century gate, which faces rue de Lutèce.