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Jamie Evans September 12 2000 Sainte-Chapelle The choice colors of the painting the costly gilding of the carving the delicate translucency of the red glowing windows the splendid altar carvings the miracles working power of the sacred relics and the decorations of the shrines sparkling with their precious stones lend this house of prayer such an intensity of adornment that entering one would think one had been transported to Heaven setting foot in one of the finest rooms of Paradise quoted from Toman 486 Above are the reflections of thirteenth century theologian Jean de Jandun on his first visit to the Parisian palace chapel Sainte-Chapelle in the year 1323 Sainte-Chapelle remains one of the worlds most impressive cathedrals and serves as an example to the modern viewer as an excellent example of the Gothic style of architecture It is believed that Sainte-Chapelle was largely constructed in the early half of the 1240s The construction was commissioned by the pious King Louis IX or Saint Louis patron saint of France Toman 83 The chapel was built to house holy relics specifically the Crown of Thorns which under Louis IXs reign was brought to Paris from Byzantium Toman 83 Pierre de Montreuil a true virtuoso Simson 200 acted as chief architect on the project and he conceived the church as a reliquary enclosed by sixty-six hundred square feet of stained glass windows Icher 138 Sainte-Chapelle is unique among Gothic buildings in that its walls were gilded and inlaid with glass in order to replicate the look of enamel This technique was used so that the masonry would resemble as closely as possible the gold and jeweled reliquary that held the Crown of Thorns Wilson 181-2 In essence the entire chapel became an opulent container for Louis holy acquisitions Sainte-Chapelle beyond its obvious religious importance was also a politically important building Rising up from a large palace courtyard it is made no mystery
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