‘Sainte-Chapelle Windows’ App Reveals Chapel’s Intricate Details

August 27, 2018 Updated: August 27, 2018

Visitors to a former royal chapel in Paris famed for its 13th-century stained glass can now study intricate details of windows towering 100 feet above their heads thanks to a smartphone app launched by one of the monument’s volunteers.

Commissioned by French King Louis IX to house relics including Jesus’s Crown of Thorns, the Gothic Sainte-Chapelle contains 15 windows depicting 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, most of which are too tiny to see from the floor.

Francis Margot, who mans the door of the chapel and is an amateur coder, created an application, completed recently, for visitors to download onto their smartphones which, when pointed at a particular window, shows magnified versions of the panes with a text explaining the scene.

The chapel—a world-renowned example of Rayonnant Gothic architecture—underwent a multi-year restoration completed in 2015 but as each window is 49 feet high much of the detail of scenes drawn from the life of Jesus and Old Testament kings was lost.

The app, which costs 0.99 euro, is available in six languages: French, Italian, Spanish, German, English and Mandarin Chinese.