The most exquisite of Paris' Gothic gems with a delicate soaring spire, Sainte Chapelle is tucked away within the walls of the Palais de Justice. The chapel consists of two areas: the simple lower chapel, once used by the servants, and the magnificent upper chapel which is illuminated by a veritable curtain of luminous 13th-century stained glass (the oldest and finest in Paris). The huge windows depict the Book of Genesis and other Old Testament stories, the Passion of Christ, history of the relics, and the Book of Revelation.
Consecrated in 1248, Sainte Chapelle was built to house what was believed to be Jesus' Crown of Thorns and other relics purchased by King Louis IX from the bankrupt empire of Byzantium. The chapel's exterior can be viewed from across the street, from the law courts' magnificently gilded 18th-century gate, which faces Rue de Lutèce. Regular evening concerts are held here.