visitng Sainte-Chapelle in Paris

We are planning a visit to Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral in Paris on a Sunday. We are not planning to attend mass and are wondering if mass is still held at the church, so we can plan our visit around any masses that may occur on Sunday.

Posted by George
655 posts

Perhaps another poster will confirm this but I do not believe there are any masses held at Sainte Chapelle although there are many concerts held in this beautiful place. Google will take you to the daily schedule. When we were there the visit, but not the concerts, were included in the Paris Museum Pass which saved considerable time waiting in line.

Posted by Carolyn
Seattle, WA, USA
309 posts

No scheduled masses are held here. It is basically a museum now. It has been undergoing some renovations, so don't be surprised if some of the windows are covered. BTW, it is not a cathedral.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
3182 posts

Sainte-Chapelle is visited primarily for the stained glass windows. There are concerts at times, also. For comparison, the chapel at Kings College Cambridge is more impressive. I visited both on the same trip a few years ago, so could compare.

Posted by Donald
Wichita, KS, United States
181 posts

I was in Paris 3 wks ago and I bought tickets to the evening concert and the experience was amazing! The chapel is beautiful as the sun is going down, and the acoustics are wonderful. Of all the times I have been to Paris this will be a memory that I will always cherish, the music transformed the beautiful surroundings into an audio/visual work of art. I would encourage anyone spending time in Paris to visit Sainte Chappel!

Posted by Sean
New York
148 posts

What is the concert you attended? And how did you book it? I think this would be helpful to Ricksters.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2386 posts

Here is the website to see what concerts are coming up and to buy advance tickets online. If you don't have advance tickets, you can always check at the venue when in Paris to see if a concert is scheduled while you're there and if tickets are available. I didn't get to attend a concert at Sainte Chapelle but I did go to one at Notre Dame, also a great experience. I just went at the last minute and was able to purchase a ticket at the door right before the concert.

Posted by David
Walnut Creek
111 posts

St. Chapelle does not hold masses, particularly since it is in the Ministry of Justice (Supreme Court) of France. Getting in requires going through metal detectors, keeping to only certain areas of the grounds. There are concerts in the evening. We went to one in May and the setting is really beautiful, particularly when the sun is setting. The musicians were pretty good, but I think they sped up their playing since they were also performing at another venue later than night. If you want, you can buy tickets at a tobacco shop directly across the street from the entrance to St. Chapelle. The tickets are actually cheaper than what you can buy on line, plus you are not necessarily locked into a performance prior to getting to Paris. On the other hand, if the performance is sold out (not common), you are out of luck. There are other concerts in various churches throughout Paris, but St. Chapelle is probably the most beautiful setting. If you do go for a concert, if you get there early, you can walk around some, and get a view of the windows. However, if you want a longer time to contemplate them (which is worth it), then go at the regular visiting hours. Finally, if you go just for the concert, you will miss the downstairs windows, which is not much of a deal, but nice. Just remember, if you go during regular hours, you enter at the downstairs (servants) chapel. You need to up the stairs to get to the Royal chapel with the truly stunning stained glass. We almost made that mistake our first visit. Have fun.

Posted by chun
Las Cruces
182 posts

We were just there a couple of weeks ago for the 7:00 concert. You can't go in early to walk around based on your concert ticket. You have to pay the separate admission to go inside downstairs. And, you have to go back outside to line up for the concert and go through security again. For the concert, they lead us in as a group at 6:00 to go upstairs for the concert. You will have ample of time to see the windows and take photos before the concert begin. The entire east side of the chapel was covered up for renovation, which is OK because there's still plenty to see. Yes, it was beautiful to see the sunlight come through the glass. The advantage of a concert is that you can leisurely look at the windows while listening to the music. The concert itself was of high quality. They played Vivaldi Four Season. Before their encore, the first violin explained some of the musical themes in the piece. Unfortunately for us, he spoke only in French.
After the concert, we walked along the Seine down by the quai. It was a beautiful evening.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
5843 posts

I would buy the concert tickets and go one evening, timing it to be there for sunset. Vivaldi's Four Seasons seems to be the standard concert - it's what I've heard both times I've gone, 3-4 years ago and at least 10 years before that. One of the benefits of going for a concert is that there's no line for security. During the day, the security line can be long and slow, since it is the same entrance for the law courts and Ste. Chapelle. I'm doubtful if it was ever open to the public for mass. It was built as the private chapel of the Conciergerie Palace, most of which now houses the law courts. According to wiki "The Sainte-Chapelle has been a national historic monument since 1862." There are free organ recitals at Notre Dame at 4 or 4.30 p.m. on most Sundays. You have to be there early to get a seat.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
9067 posts

Although St Chapelle was built as a house of worship( church) it is not longer a "church" as it was decommissioned in 1892.. so no masses there ever anymore.
I second and third the idea of attending a concert there though..

Posted by chun
Las Cruces
182 posts

Hi, Chani I have to thank you for the idea of going to the concert. You suggested that in an earlier post. Having done it, I agree with the other posters that it is the best way to experience St. Chapelle.

Posted by Theresa
Dallas, TX, USA
73 posts

We are contemplating a Christmas concert over the American Thanksgiving holiday. It would be at 6pm, so hoping a 5pm entry would give us a little remaining light for viewing the glass. Does anyone know how long renovations are scheduled?