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The Sainte Chapelle : 

a hidden and magical gem of Gothic style (13th century)

It is renowned for its stunning stain-glass windows. It was designated world heritage site by UNESCO.

Surely among the top best sites to visit when you are coming to Paris.

VIDEO  and my ADVICE below (video by Ann Jeanne in Paris) – at the BOTTOM of this PAGE

Location

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Plan d'acces - Google mapThe Sainte Chapelle is located on la Cité Island  (Ile de la Cité) between the 2 banks of the Seine.

It’s a short walk from Notre Dame (400 meters) and 200 meters from Saint Michel Metro stop, inside the courtyard of the Palais de Justice. The entrance is on the left side of the Palais de Justice’s entrance

 

Some History

It was Royal chapel commissioned by King Saint Louis (Louis IX) in order to receive the relics of Christ’s Passion, including the Crown of Thorns. The King wanted to make Paris the second Christian capital in the world

Saint Louis

It took 6 years to build, between 1242 and 1248. It was consecrated in 1248, just 3 years after the towers of Notre Dame were completed. It’s one of the finest examples of high gothic architecture.

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The upper Chapel

The Sainte Chapelle was damaged during the French Revolution in the Late 18th century. It was restored later in the 19th century but most of the original 13th century stain-glass windows are the original ones.

Since the revolution, the chapel no longer holds any of the relics of the Christ’s passion. They were moved to Notre Dame Cathedral’s treasury where they are still now. 

The Holy relics of the Passion of the Christ and the Crown of Thorns: 

They were offered to Louis IX, king of France by the Latin Emperor of Constantinople in 1238. The Saint Chapelle was built in order to receive it. The relics stayed during 500 years in the Sainte Chapelle until the French Revolution. Then it was deposited in Notre Dame de Paris. The relic can be seen on the first Friday of every month at 3pm. It includes a piece of the Cross along with the Holy Crown of Thorns

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The upper Chapel

The Chapel has 2 levels : A lower and a upper chapel :I

t’s a quite small church divided into a lower and a upper chapel. Though both are beautiful, the most beautiful is the upper chapel.

The lower chapel is devoted to the Virgin Mary. This floor was the place of worship of the Palace personnel. A quite dark chapel. A blue ceiling decorated with golden fleur-de-lis (the royal symbol). It was the place for the palace staff and the king’s household.05122017-IMG_1322

The upper chapel : Only the king and his entourage had access to this floor

  • You get to the upper Chapel through a spiral staircase from the lower chapel.
  • The stained glass windows are 15 meters high from the floor to the ceiling. Their red and blue colors  are just amazing. Even more on a sunny day.
  • Two third of them are the original ones, dating from the 13th century.
  • They are made of 1113 biblical scenes that tell the history of mankind from Genesis to the resurrection of Christ.
  • A large rose window was added to the chapel in the late 15th centruy
  • The blue ceiling decorated with golden stars
  • In the choir, the empty shrine once contained the relics of the Passion of Christ.

Video of the Sainte Chapelle

 

Practical details :

  • Address : 8 boulevard du Palais – Paris 1  Metro Stop : La Cité (line 4) then 100 meters  walk or  Metro stop Saint Michel, then 200 meters walk

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    The Sainte Chapelle and the Palais de Justice, in the background

  • Opening days :
    • Opened everyday (except 1st od january, 1st of may and 25th of December)
    • From march 1st to October 31st : 0.30am to 6.00 pm
    • From November 1st to February 28th : 9 am to 5 pm
    • Last tickets sold 30 minutes before the chapel closes

WARNING : The chapel is closed between 1 and 2 pm during the week

My advice :

  • Don’t miss going upstairs to the upper level, as this is the most beautiful part of this chapel : when you enter the lower chapel the staircases are immediately on the left and right sides. Narrow and winding stairs to climb. It may be difficult for some persons though this staircases are quite short.
  • Sainte Chapelle can be a little hard to find.  
    • The entrance to Sainte Chapelle is to the left of the Palais de Justice and its gilded iron gates. It is just next to the Justice Palace. It is a bit hidden from view inside the courtyard of the Palais de Justice. but you’ll find signs to guide you. But you may not see the sighs…
  • I would recommend visiting at the opening:
    • in the morning or in the afternoon to avoid the crowd as much as possible, especially at Summertime.
    • And if possible on a sunny day. But if it’s not sunny, it is still beautiful and worth it (the day I took the photos and videos was not a sunny day !)
  • Better buy your tickets on line : you’ll probably still have to wait in line, but for a shorter time and you will still have to go through the security check as for every visitor, But with your tickets booked in advance you may save time.
  • You can visit it under 1 hour.
  • Make sure to wear a coat or a jumper inside as it’s often a bit cold inside

You can combine your visit with….

  • with a Ann Jeanne in Paris Private tour in the Latin Quarter or in Saint Germain des Prés neighborhoods. I can pick you up at the end of your visit at the Sainte Chapelle, then we’ll stroll through the streets of one of these neighborhood where i’ll be delighted to share my favorite places with you.                                 More details about AJIP private tours               CONTACT

    AJIP Private tour

    AJIP Private tours in Saint Germain des Prés or the Latin Quarter after your visit at the Sainte Chapelle

  • with a visit of Notre Dame (400 meters walk from the Sainte Chapelle) Choose a visit at the opening time to avoid waiting to much.
  • with a visit of the Flower Market, located on La Cité Island too, a stone throw from the Saint Chapelle

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    The Flower Market

  • with a break at the beautiful café “Les 2 Palais” (see the photo below) located in front of the Palais de Justice. You won’t be surprised to see lawyers dressed in their suits of lawyers. It’s the closest and nicest café to the Palais de Justice. 

    Cafe des 2 Palais in front of the Sainte Chapelle

    Cafe des 2 Palais in front of the Sainte Chapelle

  • with a visit of the Conciergerie. The Conciergerie is nearby the Saint Chapelle. It’s where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned and 2700 other victims too before being sent to the guillotine during the French Revolution. A combine ticket is available for both monuments.

 

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AJIP Private walking tours and photo sessions

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Ann Jeanne in Paris

Share my Paris, the Paris I love. I welcome you, I accompany you and we walk at your pace. Let me be your friend in Paris ! Half a day or a whole day with a native including a break in a very Parisian cafe. It’s a cross cultural experience in Paris and a way to see Paris in a Parisian perspective.

Ann Jeanne in Paris’ private tours are designed for one or two persons. A friendly and personal experience of Paris. I was born and raised in Paris. Paris is the city where I live.

More details about Ann Jeanne Paris tours Don’t hesitate to Contact me

And  : Some details about the booking and pricing 

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Baguettes

In Paris, on the square in front of Notre Dame

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Bread Festival in front of Notre Dame – Paris

The Festival is held everywhere in France, each year since 1996, across France. In Paris, it’s held on the square in front of Notre Dame. 

It happens in May, around Saint Honoré’s day (patron Saint of the bakers). This year, : from the 21st to the 30th of May and the Alsatian were the guests of honor for this edition. 

 

Why this Festival ?

It celebrates the expertise of artisan bakers.  It allows visitors to go and meet the bakers, learn all about their job and the products they make. And the Festival wants to remind that not all bread sellers can call themselves “boulangers” (=bakers)

Which shop in France, can be called “Boulangerie” ?

  • A “boulangerie” must select its flour, knead its own dough and bake its loaves on premises to claim the title “Boulangerie”.
  • The other shops who sell bread : 
    • The « Point chaud » : baguette chains that serves frozen baguettes that reheated on site
    • The “Dépot de pain” : a premise that receives bread, whether fresh of reheated, from a bakeshop.

 

Festival’s activities

The Festival welcomes visitors with many activities based on conviviality and sharing (and fun). 

  • Bakers demonstrate the making of the baguette, the croissants and other breads and pastries. 
  • Tastings…You can buy what you’ve seen go in the oven. The opportunity for visitors to sample freshly baked and other wonderful pastries. 
  • Workshops
  • Grand Prize of the Parisian baguette (The “grand prix de la baguette de tradition fançaise de la ville de Paris”)
  • A competition to determine the best croissant in the Ile de France.

 

Some facts about French bread :

  • The origin of the Baguette : One is not perfectly sure about its origin. The french have been making long thin bread since the mid 18th century and before that, long and wide loaves were made since Louis XIV. But we know for sure that the baguette became widespead in Paris in the 1920s.DSC_8999
  • Boulangers : Paris has over 1000 bakeries and cake shops. There are 32000 bakeries in France.
  • The average Frenchman eats a half a baguette a day.
  • 10 million baguettes are sold in France every year.
  • In 1993, the bread decree, regulates the appellation and making of the baguette de tradition française » : a short kneading process, long fermentation, and the use of flour without additives.
  • A lot of different varieties of bread is available. : baguette, couronne (ring shaped), the flute (same shape but thinner than a baguette), the batard (half-length), the ficelle (long thin loaf), pain complet (wholemeal bread), pain de seigle (rye bread), pain au levain (sourdough bread), brioche (sweet bread)

The “Grand Prix for the  baguette de tradition française»

  • Iis awarded for the best baguette in Paris since 1994.
  • According to five criteria : aspect, baking, crumb, smell and taste. 
  • Rules for the contest stipulate that a baguette weigh 250- 300 grams and not contain more than 18 grams of salt per 1 kilo of flour.
  • The award gives the winner the privilege of supplying the Elysée Palace with bread for a whole year.Gagnants de la meilleure baguette
  • The prize 2016 for the best traditional  Baguette in Paris was awarded on the 27th of May. The bakers Michael Reudelet and Florian Charles from the Boulangerie La Parisienne, 48 rue Madame – Paris 6 are the winners.
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More details about the “Fête du Pain” :

More photos :

Your Private Walk with Ann Jeanne in Paris, a native Parisian ? 

  • You’d like to feel like a local and having a tour in a Paris neighborhood, but you don’t feel having a tour with a group ?
  • You’d like to discover Paris off the beaten path ?
  • You’d like to see Paris in another perspective and to know more about Paris lifestyle ?

WELCOME !

 CONTACT me for a private walking tour and experience Paris as a local

  • You only, or you and the person you choose.
  • Duration of the tour : from 2 hours.  It includes a coffee in an authentic cafe 
  • The  tour can be customized according to your preferences and interests 

For more details :  The tours  and Practical details and fees 

Don’t hesitate to contact me

30 questions on your tray placemat

The legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop 
has opened a cafe last mid-october (2015)

Rue Saint Julien le Pauvre

It’s located at the corner of rue de la Bucherie and rue St Julien le Pauvre, next-door to Shakespeare and Company bookshop, with a view over Notre Dame.     Link to Shakespeare and Company bookstore article

History : George Whitman wanted a literary cafe next to his bookstore, many decades ago.

“I’ve got to get back the upstairs, and I’m going to open a literary café. Everything will be cooked under my supervision. There’s only one way to make a good lemon pie, you know.” — George Whitman, 1969.

A cafe as imagined by George Whitman in the 1960s and illustrated by James King

A cafe as imagined by George Whitman in the 1960s and illustrated by James King

 

Sylvia Whitman, George Whitman’s daughter, wanted to honor her father’s wishes and she made the George Whitman’s drawings a reality. The adjacent (vacant) property which used to be a stationery shop has been empty for over twenty years and so was officially available.

In October 2015, the café opened, next door to the antiquarian section of the bookshop.

The retro 70s floor tiles and the old stone walls have been preserved. Inside, some countertop seats, a few tables and chairs and more seating outside on benches.

 

                                                    Inside the cafe

Not any coffee, nor any tea... 
but high standards. Delicious

The Shakespeare and Company cafe serve soups of the day,pies, hand-rolled bagels, finger sandwiches, baked goods, vegan and gluten-free dishes , cookies (peanut butter cookies, chocolate  cookies, dark chocolate matcha cookies), brownies, lemon tarts, scones, pressed juices, smoothies of the day, coffee, tea…

They offer literary themed products too, such as : a special “Shakespeare Shake” ( = the smoothie of the day), the “Flapjack Kerouac”, the “Bun also rises”, the “Lunchpack of Notre Dame” (picnic baskets filled with wine to take away for some Seine-side dining) !!!!

30 questions on your tray placemat

30 questions on your tray placemat

A version of the legendary Proust questionnaire on each placemat lining every tray. (30 questions on your placemat)

The cafe is working with some great suppliers  :

The food is supplied by Bob’s kitchen : organic, and largely vegetarian food. Bob’s kitchen is run by Marc Grossman, an American born and raised in Manhattan. It’s also a restaurant located in the 3d arrondissement of Paris. 

The coffee is supplied by the Parisan roaster Café Lomi. Cafe Lomi is also a cafe located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris

The tea is supplied by London Postcard Tea, a London-based company featuring popular and rare teas.

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My advice :

Really gorgeous. everytime I go to Shakespeare and Company cafe, I enjoy the atmosphere and a top quality products : coffee, tea…Gorgeous cookies… etc

If you find yourself browsing at Shakespeare and Company next door,

If you visit the Latin Quarter,

If you’ve got some free time and nothing special to do,

………………………………………………………………………………………..    , visit the Shakespeare and Company café !!

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Addresses

Shakespeare and Company : 37 rue de la Bûcherie – Paris 5 – Metro stop Saint Michel                                                                           Monday to Friday 10 to 18h30   Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 19.30

London Postcard :  http://www.postcardteas.com/site/

Café Lomi : 3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris, France

 Monday to Sunday : 10 am to 7 pm

Bob’s kitchen : Several places  74 rue des Gravilliers – Paris 3 – Metro Stop : arts et Métiers The restaurant serves breakfast, vegetarian and vegetalian meals and snacks, Monday to Friday : 8am to 3 pm Saturday and sunday : 8am to 4 pm TEL. 09.52.55.11.66

Also : Bob’s juice bar – 15 rue Lucien Sampaix – Paris 10   Monday to Friday 7.30 am to 3 pm Saturday 8.30am to 4pm TEL. 09.50.06.36.18

And Bob’s Bake Shop – Halle Pajol – 12 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute – Paris 18 – Everyday 8am to 4pm – TEL. 09.84.46.25.26