If you come to Paris, if you love art and music, you must attend an evening concert at Sainte Chapelle. Imagine sitting in a high Gothic chapel with stained glass windows on 3 sides. At dusk, the light still illiminates the stained glass in an array of red, gold, green, purple and blue colors. Imagine “…Fifteen magnificent stained glass windows separated by the narrowest of columns that soar 50 feet to the star-studded vaulted roof.”
The 7 member ensemble walks into the altar area, 4 violins, 1 violin-cello, 1 bass viol and 1 harpsichord. Not one word is spoken. Only the stage is lit. The musicians launch into Pachelbel’s Canon, Albinoni’s Adagio and Vivaldi’s Les Quatre Saisons. One encore. Wow. At times, I just closed my eyes and savored the superb music in that special place.
Sainte Chapelle was dedicated in 1248. French King Louis IX was so devout he was later canonized. He may be the only French King who was a saint. He built this chapel to house Christ’s “crown of thorns” (now at Notre Dame Treasury) and for worship by the royal family (upper chapel). The servants used the lower chapel. Louis paid 3 times more for the relics than for the chapel. Hmmm.