Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Sainte-Chapelle Shines Again.

Sainte Chapelle,
Upper Chapel, 
Paris, France.
Photo: 14 October 2005.
Source: Own work.
Author: Didier B (Sam67fr).
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Article is from MEDIEVAL HISTORIES

Sainte-Chapelle Shines Again.
It took seven years to restore the glorious windows of Sainte-Chapelle, Paris,
and cost €9.5 million. Now they shine in all their former glory.

Sainte-Chapelle was commissioned by Saint Louis, after he had bought a number of very important Relics, stemming from The Passion of Christ, from The Byzantine Emperor. Especially important was The Crown of Thorns, which arrived in Paris in 1239.

When The Royal Chapel was Consecrated, in 1248, it appeared that the architect had succeeded in creating a veritable jewel-box to hold this very precious Relic. Part of this aura was due to the magnificent glass windows, which seemed to soar into the sky.

With more than 750 m2 and 1,113 scenes, they still tell the story of The Chosen People. The cycle starts at The Western Bay of The North Wall, with scenes from The Book of Genesis. The next ten windows of The Nave follow clockwise, with scenes from Exodus, Joseph, Numbers/Leviticus, Joshua/Deuteronomy, Judges, (moving to The South Wall) Jeremiah/Tobias, Judith/Job, Esther, David and The Book of Kings.

The final window, occupying The Western-most Bay of The South Wall, brings this narrative of Sacral Kingship right up-to-date, with a series of scenes showing the re-discovery of Christ’s Relics, the Miracles they performed, and their relocation to Paris in the hands of King Louis, himself. In the Apse, windows feature scenes from The Infancy of Christ, the Life of John the Baptist, and The Passion of Christ. The overall message is to exalt the ideal of Kingship.

English: Sainte-Chapelle.
A monument rediscovered !
Français: La Sainte-Chapelle.
Un monument à redécouvrir !
Available on YouTube at

It stands to reason that these window paintings were harmed, changed, restored and mixed anew during the next 750 years. Not least, The French Revolution caused a grievous destruction. Nevertheless, two-thirds of the windows are original.

In the 1970s, however, it was deemed necessary to restore this magnificent French monument, in order to bring it back to its former glory. Finally, a few days ago, the result of the final restoration-project was unveiled to the astonishment of everyone present, who had never seen the edifice without scaffolding and partially under wraps. Indeed a glorious moment !

The primary donation, to finish the restoration of The Bay Windows, has been made by the Danish Company: Velux, which contributed 50% of the expense. The President of The Velux Foundation, Lars Khan-Rasmussen, was present at the inauguration, where he committed further funding for another French treasure, the windows at Palais d’Antin.

The Foundation has previously been active in the rebuilding of The Dresden Frauenkirche and is active in a European context, whenever a restoration job touches upon the primary business of the Velux Company, which is to bring daylight and fresh air to people.

At the Ceremony in Paris, on 20 May 2015, The Velux Foundation was profusely thanked, by The President of The Centre des Monuments Nationaux, for its never-wavering support and its exemplary way of supporting such a complicated project.

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