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How to Visit Paris' St. Chapelle Cathedral

The Sainte-Chapelle, built in 1246 by France's King Louis IX, is a strikingly beautiful oasis which sits amid gray government buildings of the Palais de Justice. Constructed as part of the King's palace, all that remains today is the two story chapel. The site welcomes visitors 360 days a year. Because of the proximity to the government buildings, prepare to pass through a security check point before entering the building.

Take the Metro to the Ile de la Cite. The Sainte-Chapelle is located in the heart of Paris, on the same island as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Conciergerie. The elegant chapel is nestled behind the Palais de Justice, which houses many of Paris' courts.

Explore the lower chapel. The lower chapel of the Sainte-Chapelle is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This darker ground floor chamber was where the servants and ladies-in-waiting worshiped while the royal family prayed upstairs.

Climb up to the upper chapel. From the lower chapel, take the spiral staircase to the upper, royal chapel. This Gothic style nave is lined with magnificent, floor to ceiling, leaded glass windows, depicting the entire story of the Bible. The figures of the twelve Apostles are carved into the supports between the windows.

Attend a concert. The Sainte-Chapelle hosts chamber music concerts periodically in the upper chapel, usually three or four a month. Tickets are generally reasonably priced. Check with your hotel concierge or visit Classic Tic, a Paris online ticket broker, for tickets.

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