Sainte-Chapelle#18 in Best Things To Do in Paris
Nowhere in Paris does stained glass windows quite as well as Sainte-Chapelle. The panes – dating back to the chapel's construction in the 13th century – depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible in vivid color. Sainte-Chapelle, which took just seven years to build, is a treasured example of French Gothic architecture and originally held Christian artifacts acquired by Louis IX. The building underwent a rigorous restoration between 2008 and 2014 and now welcomes visitors every day of the year except Christmas Day, New Year's Day and May 1 (France's Labor Day). Admission costs 10 euros (about $11) per person for those 25 and older and free tickets are also available for EU residents. Guided tours are offered between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and last 45 minutes. Audio guides are available for an additional 3 euros (about $3) per person.
Recent travelers say the chapel is a true masterpiece and not to be missed, though some visitors did note it was smaller than they anticipated. Still, they say it's worth taking your time to have a closer look at each of the stained glass windows, as they all tell a different story. Some travelers also recommended touring the Conciergerie next door, a palace turned prison that was erected in the 14th century. If you plan to tour both sites, consider purchasing a joint ticket for 15 euros (about $17).
Saint-Chapelle is open from 9 a.m. to either 5 or 7 p.m., depending on the time of year. Final entry each day is granted 30 minutes before closing time, so keep that in mind when planning your visit. The monument also hosts a number of concerts, and it has its own mobile app that will guide you through the hidden meaning behind each of the 15 stained glass windows. The downloadable app is free if you wish to learn about only the main rose window, or 0.99 euros if you'd like to analyze all of the panes. To learn more about this stunning historic site, visit the Saint-Chapelle website.
More Best Things To Do in Paris
#1 Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)
Note that the cathedral sustained significant damage as a result of a fire on April 15, 2019. Its wooden roof and spire collapsed during the fire. It remains closed until further notice.
Like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is seen as a Parisian icon. Located right along the picturesque River Seine, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered a Gothic masterpiece and is often regarded as one of the best Gothic cathedrals of its kind in the world. Construction of the famous cathedral started in the late 10th century and final touches weren't made until nearly 200 years later. And once you get an eyeful of the cathedral yourself, you'll start to understand why it took so long.
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