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Sainte Chapelle is stunning location for a concert


Last night we attended a concert in the amazing chapel built in the mid-13th century–Sainte Chapelle.  It is a beautiful destination in Paris and worthy of seeing because of its phenomenal stain glass windows.  But what many tourists don’t know is that the visual feast of this edifice comes alive when you add beautiful music.  Concerts are held most nights of the week for a small audiences of 200 or so.    Sitting in the middle of the monumental structure listening to fine classical music is an experience I’ll always remember. I   marvel that I sat in a chapel built in the 1200s listening to Bach and Mozart.  It is an emotional experience.  Can make one teary-eyed.  It did.

The structure is situated in the heart of Paris on the Ile de la Cite’, the original center of Paris.  Now it is surrounded by  buildings only two to three hundred years old. It can easily be  over looked by crowds thronging to see the more dominating Notre Dame nearby that was completed on the island almost a century after Sainte Chappelle.  But don’t skip this destination.    It was an ambitious undertaking when it was built combining the latest in vaulting, balancing and proportions. The stain glass windows are exquisite.

We heard Les Violons de France, a famous French String Orchestra. According to the program, each musician of the group has been aclaimed all around the world and has received the best awards in his or her own speciality. Cecile Besnard, a Soprano, sang three different versions of Ave Maria. Perfect.  My favorite of the program, however, was Johann Pachebel, Le Canon.  Other pieces were by Mozart, Bach, Bizet, Albinoni and Massenet.

Even if you aren’t a classical music fan, this experience is well worth having.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Peggy DePersia
    May 18, 2010 Reply

    Such a melding of beautiful sensory experiences can be virtually indescribable yet the tearful response speaks to the visceral quality of these moments or events.
    Sounds like you’re having a wonderful time.
    Take care.

  2. posted by
    sallie bowie
    May 18, 2010 Reply

    I have been in that exact place and envy your time there. You really feel the presence of God.
    Pachebel played at our wedding and my daughters. Didn’t know they had concerts there. What a wonderful trip you are having. Eat a chocolate croissant for me……

  3. posted by
    May 18, 2010 Reply

    It is beautiful. The next time you come to Paris be sure to attend a concert here.

    Would love a chocolate croissant but I will tell you the macaroons are divine. Hmmmm. Wondering where i can get one at home.

  4. posted by
    R. Lyle Boatman, ASID
    May 18, 2010 Reply

    YES! My first trip to Paris, some twenty years ago, the first night, I went to a brass ensemble concert at Ste. Chapelle. I can still hear the reverb… It gave me goose bumps. Amazing to know that the tradition continues.


  5. posted by
    Cindy Schad`
    May 20, 2010 Reply

    What a thrill for one’s soul. To sit there and experience what so many others have who have gone before you. It displays the greatness of the human spirit. I think I would attend every evening!

  6. posted by
    My “Favorite Five” things to do in Paris « DesignDestinations
    Jun 21, 2010 Reply

    […] what this was like decades ago.  And not too far from the Marais or Ile Sainte Louis  is Sainte Chapelle where a new “favorite thing to do” is to attend a […]

  7. posted by
    Paris Restaurant Recommendations | DesignDestinations
    Apr 14, 2014 Reply

    […] 6. A charming spot right on the Left Bank  is Les Bouquinistes, a Guy Savoy restaurant. (left bank).  We enjoyed going there after attending a concert at Saint Chapelle.   (see two blog posts about these concerts….it’s really my favorite thing to do in Paris)… […]

  8. posted by
    Paris: Get Thee to the Seine | DesignDestinations
    Jan 22, 2018 Reply

    […] For a Zen moment in a busy city, Sainte Chapelle is a great place to go to a concert.  Read this blog post to get details.   […]

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