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.