Aerogrammes de Paris - October 13, 1977 -
I got off to a late start as usual. To Sainte Chapelle - one of the oldest churches in Paris housed within the Palais de Justice on the Ile de la Cite. It was begun in 1246 for the express purpose of housing the relics of the Crucifixion which it never did since they were sent to Notre Dame. It actually consists of two chapels, the lower one being a servant's chapel with fleur de lis and Spanish fortresses adoring the walls and pillars, and with a predominance of the red, blue and gold.
The upper chapel was for the royalty, and, of course, it is stunningly magnificient. It was periodically sunny that day so the 1000's of stories depicted by the vitraux (stained glass) really shone brillantly. Of course, I didn't have either the time or the desire to read them all. There is a niched area on both sides for the royal family. And, then in the next area, there is a tiny grated window from which Louis XI could watch the mass without being perceived. It is certainly amazing to me that the stained glass windows and the rose window survived a Revolution and two World Wars. The vitraux are the most ancient in Paris and, of course, there have been reparations, but still...