While Notre Dame de Paris was more or less what I expected it to be, the little “Sainte Chapelle” a block away from it was a surprise. As I learned, Louis XI bought the is believed by some to be the Crown of Thorns from the head of Jesus. He then constructed a small chapel in Paris to host the relic. While really small, the chapel is stunning in its detailing. It has two floors, the upper one being almost entirely stained glass windows. (Unfortunately, it’s hard to capture the beauty of stained glass windows in photos.)
As they told us, Louis XI spent about 40,000 pounds to build this chapel, compared to 130,000 pounds he paid the Byzantine emperor for the Crown of Thorns. The Crown is now displayed in Notre Dame de Paris once a month.