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Sainte-Chapelle

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ABOVE: The apse in the Lower Chapel. BELOW: Ceiling with fleur-de-lis pattern, and decorated columns.

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Lower chapel

When you enter Sainte-Chapelle, your first stop will be the chapelle basse, or lower chapel, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and used as a place of worship by members of the court.

Clusters of slender columns support the arches of the vaulted ceiling, which is only about 7 meters or 23 feet high.

The polychrome decorations date from Sainte-Chapelle's restoration in the 1800s, but they're based on medieval designs.

The deep blue ceiling with its fleur-de-lis patterns, and the painted columns with their gilded fleur-de-lis and Castilian castle motifs, show that Gothic architecture could be anything but cool and monochromatic.

Next page: Upper Chapel


In this article:
Introduction
Lower chapel
Upper chapel
Visitor information

Also see:
Paris Sightseeing Index

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