is a Gothic
chapel in Paris
, built in 1246
by the very devout king Louis IX of France
as a chapel for the royal family and then as a shrine for what is said to be Christ
's crown of thorns, taken from Constantinople
) during the Crusades
. The king was later granted sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church
as Saint Louis.
The most visually beautiful aspects of the ancient chapel, and considered the best of their type in the world, are its stained glass and rose windows added to the upper chapel in the 15th century.
During the French Revolution, the chapel was converted to an administrative office, and the windows were obscured by enormous filing cabinets. The all-but-forgotten beauty was thereby inadvertently protected from the vandalism rampant at the time.
See also: Paris Hall of Justice