Advent Calendar 2020-Day#18

My small collection of photos below don’t do Sainte-Chapelle justice. Please open the links above for a look at the awesome stained glass windows and a commentary on the history of the several hundred-year-old Chapel.

As I’ve mentioned, I have visited Paris for over 35 years now and a few things have actually changed! Sometime in that first decade of my visits, musicians started playing at various venues, primarily churches and chapels. I want to say their performances were even free. Advertising was minimal but the word did get around.

Since those ‘early’ years, the performances have elevated to a new level and are advertised in the L’Officiel des Spectacles culture guide you can pick up at kiosks around Paris. They publish it once a week, coming out on Wednesdays with the refreshed schedules. The cost is about a euro for the guide, so well worth it: https://www.offi.fr

If you remember the Pariscope, a similar guide, was unfortunately, discontinued several years ago. It was more user-friendly because it had a section in the back that was in English.

L’Officiel des Spectacles has several different sections such as films, concerts, theatre performances, expositions, museums, and so on. Although I don’t speak French, I can navigate my way through it, so you can too!

My last concert at Sainte-Chapelle took place a few years ago during the Holiday season. The Gothic-styled Chapel is intimate and, yes, I agree, with Paris Perfect’s article: dazzling, although more with chandelier light because of it being in the dark of evening when I was last there! If I remember correctly, the performance was not too much beyond an hour.

I want to say you need to purchase tickets online. Sainte-Chapelle’s website: http://www.sainte-chapelle.fr/en/ And, since my friends purchased the tickets, I think there was a request you bring your passport with you too. It is always a good idea to have it with you anyway. Sainte-Chapelle is in the Palais Justice’s complex, which houses court proceedings so, being a government building, I believe that is why a passport may be required. Yet, I was required at another location recently too and it was not a governmental establishment.

Also, a performance in the evening, especially in the winter, means dress warm. There is an inevitable ‘wait-in-line’, (since there are no assigned seats) and it feels really good to be bundled up appropriately to do so. You can also go to other performances in other venues over the Holidays but there is a specialness to this Chapel. As it is dark so early in the winter, you are not getting the full hit of the stained glass but my Paris friends were so thrilled I had invited them to come along with me as the performance did stimulate our Holiday spirit.

I also arranged a dinner reservation for us afterwards, nearby. I believe the restaurant we had reservations for that evening is no longer, even though it has been around for a few decades. Two others nearby: Le Reminet is on a small street so it can be difficult to find as it is dimly lit, yet that’s what helps to make it romantic and intimate: https://www.lereminet.fr/en/

Ze Kitchen Galerie, owner and chef, William Ledeuil, has won numerous awards and you can read about him here: https://zekitchengalerie.fr/en/mindset/

The restaurant we went to was a 10 minute walk away, on the Left Bank (as are the two I mentioned above) which allows for a stop to take in the river’s bridges and the glory of Paris all lit up, backing up the idea of Paris being the City of Light!

See this link which explains why Paris is often called ‘The City of Light’: https://theculturetrip.com/europe/france/paris/articles/real-reason-paris-called-city-lights/

If you are not in Paris during the Holiday season, consider going to a concert here or at other locations any time of the year. Also, a daytime tour/visit to Sainte-Chapelle will give you a sunlit view of the Chapel. Here is their website:

http://www.sainte-chapelle.fr/en/

Wow! I am so pleased to have found this rendition of Ode to Joy to the World (Piano Guys with Bell Ringers and Singers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyVEKsNFDjw

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