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14 out of the 15 stained glass windows depict an impressive 1,113 biblical figures.

The Lancet Windows of Sainte Chapelle

Enter: the stained glass window! Stained glass windows were actually originally created to help illiterate people “read” stories from the Bible. I put “read” in quotation marks, as it wasn’t technically reading, but really looking at the biblical scenes depicted in the windows and learning the stories that way!

1241-1248 CE

commissioned by King Louis IX

The Sainte-Chapelle was constructed in 1242, and was commissioned by the French King at the time, King Louis IX. He was an extremely religious king. He fought in 2 of the Crusades, had a large collection of religious relics that he had picked up along the way, and was eventually canonized as a saint after his death.

After purchasing the Crown of Thorns and some other important relics from the emperor of Constantinople, Baldwin II, King Louis IX needed a place to store all of these relics. And, what better way to honor their importance that to build a chapel filled with stained glass windows?

All 15 of the windows in the Sainte-Chapelle are from the 13th century, and in fact, the chapel boasts the most extensive collection of stained glass from this century in the world! There is over 600m2 of glass in the chapel.

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Palias de la Cite, Sainte Chapelle, Paris

How far back?

Point in Timeline 79%

2020 | Present