A Moment at The Sainte Chapelle Chapel – Lauren Hilderbrand

As someone who grew up in a deeply religious environment I am familiar with the significance that places like The Sainte Chapelle Chapel in Paris, France hold within the Christian and Catholic community. While I no longer consider myself to be a religious person I am curious about the world religions and can appreciate the significance they have on today’s culture. Upon entering the Chapel with my fellow classmates and Dr. Arnold, I was astounded by the exquisite architecture we were able to see: some parts have been restored in recent years, but a majority of the architecture and stained glass is original. Pictured below are the vibrant vaulted ceilings, which help distribute weight throughout the building, and the incredibly detailed stained glass windows that pattern the walls. 

Stained Glass Display

Stained Glass Display

The Vaulted Ceilings

The Sainte Chapelle Chapel began construction in 1238 and was finished about 10 years later. Its facade is a perfect representation of early Gothic architecture and holds a special place in Royal Palace history. On a visit to this historic site, one can pick up a pamphlet containing information about how much of the building is original and how much has been restored. Over 70% of the stained glass is original; quite a marvelous feat when looking at its size.  

While marveling at these sights, I remembered back to a History of Art class I had taken my first semester at The Ohio State University where we learned how stained glass in Medieval times was used to tell stories. Each panel of glass in the Sainte Chapelle Chapel told different parts of stories from each chapter of the bible. Even as someone who is not knowledgeable on all the Biblical anecdotes, I was able to grasp the main message without reading anything extra.I believe art is a universal language that can be used to convey even the most difficult of messages. Unlike many others, my experience at Sainte Chapelle was not one of religious bliss, but of the appreciation of Medieval architecture and the unspoken language of art. 

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