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From outside, there is nothing to announce the beauty of this medieval building stood behind the large wall of the Palais de Justice. The place was a royal medieval Gothic chapel, one of the highest achievements of Rayonnant gothic architecture of its kind in Paris. Its erection was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion Relics, including Christ's Crown of Thorns - one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom.
Along with the Conciergerie, the Sainte-Chapelle is one of the earliest surviving buildings of the Capetian royal palace on the Île de la Cité. Although damaged during the French revolution, and restored in the 19th century, it retains one of the most extensive in-situ collections of 13th-century stained glass anywhere in the world.
The Saint Chapelle is divided in two sanctuaries built one on top of the other (1242-1248). The 15 stained glass windows in the upper chapel, two-thirds of which are original, depict 1,113 scenes from the Old Testament and the Passion of Christ. The lower chapel is decorated with an Annunciation, the oldest wall painting in Paris.