The 25 Most Beautiful Churches in Europe Jan 29, 2016 by Ian (Awesome Escape Blogger)

Sainte-Chapelle, France

The private chapel of King Louis IX was built in 1239-1248 as part of the royal palace at the center of Paris on the Ile de la Cite. Now, the stunning Sainte-Chapelle is open to everyone. The chapel was the highest achievement of Rayonnant Gothic, with a sense of weightlessness like the glass is rising towards the sky. Originally, the chapel was built to house religious relics. King Louis was obsessed with relics, and after he bought the supposed Crown of Thorns for a kingly sum, he lavished more money on an enormous silver Grand Chest to house his collection. Ironically, it was the chapel that cost the least amount of money, but it is probably the most beautiful element of the King’s grand plan. Centuries later, the chapel was looted during the French Revolution, the silver chest was melted down, and the relics dispersed. But the beauty of Sainte-Chapelle was painstakingly recreated and two-thirds of the original glass windows remain. Walking down the aisle feels like a trip to paradise, and if you’re in Paris don’t miss a chance to visit Sainte-Chapelle.

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