Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Sounds from Sainte Chappelle

One of the great things about Paris is that you can see and hear classical music being performed in many of the churches. What could be better than hearing music that speaks to your soul, while surrounded by a beautiful, not to mention historical site? It is a great way to spend an evening! Some
of the concerts that are held on the weekends are even free too. You can check out the ubiquitous FUSAC Magazine located in the metro stations, book stores and any number of free stands out there to see where the current concerts are being held.

That being said, there is one venue you should not miss while you are visiting. Sainte Chappelle, the 13th century chapel, built by King Louis IX, is a resplendent jewel meant to celebrate both royalty as well as The Church. It's original stained glass windows capture one's attention with its blues and reds lining the intimate space. The glass celebrates the stories of the Bible and are lined with the royal insignia of the fleur-de-lys.

When I was there I had the opportunity to hear Les Quatres Saisons, better known to us as The Four Seasons. I was so moved, I actually got a little "verklempt". The performance certainly stirred my soul as I watched the soloist literally shred part of his bow from the intensity of his playing. Not to worry, it did not effect his performance one bit. It was simply a piece of Heaven.

As I watched the performance I could almost feel the presence of the many King Louis' and their Queen consorts resting their royal behinds behind the musicians looking out upon their subjects. While a Louis may not be seated on the throne anymore, it was fun to imagine days long gone and how it must have looked. While our modern dress may not compare to the days of old, I was certainly grateful for the show and its surroundings.

Typically, the chapel hosts two evening performances at 7pm and again at 8:30. Tickets can be bought online for a fee from outside sources or you can purchase them directly at the chapel between the hours of 10am - 5pm. Prices are 24€ and 30€. While it is an intimate setting, if it is in your budget I do recommend spending the extra 6€ to buy the front seats. It is worth every centime.

It is located at 4 Blvd. du Palais in the beautifully maintained Palais de Justice. Be prepared to not bring any metal items as you will be going through a metal detector to get in. It is the Hall of Justice after all.

For more information, please visit their site at
Sainte Chapelle.

Thank you for reading an bonne journée!