The Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes is a Gothic chapel within the fortifications of the château de Vincennes. It was founded in 1379 by Charles V of France to house relics of the passion of Christ. Its design by Raymond du Temple and Pierre de Montereau was based on that of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, although the version at Vincennes only had a single level (20m high) compared to the two levels of the Paris version.
On Charles V's death in 1380, work on the chapel continued under his successor Charles VI, under whose rule the choir, the two oratories, the sacristy and the treasury were all completed, with the treasury housing the relics. The nave's construction continued but the works slowed during the Hundred Years War. The facade was only completed in 1480, by Louis XI of France. Under Francis I of France, the ordinary almoner to the king, Guillaume Crétin, also served as the chapel's treasurer, before becoming cantor at the main Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. The interior decoration was only finished under Henry II of France, who in 1551 moved the order of Saint Michael's base from Mont-Saint-Michel to Vincennes. The following year he inaugurated the chapel.
In 1793, during the French Revolution, the interior decoration was destroyed, the stained glass windows smashed and the Baptistery of Saint Louis (long held in the chapel's treasury and used from at least as early as Louis XIII as the baptismal font for children of the French royal family) moved to the Louvre Museum.
The chapel houses the tombs of Bernardin Gigault (who died at Vincennes in 1694) and Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien. The latter was executed in 1804 in the moat of the Château de Vincennes, near a grave which had already been prepared; in 1816, his remains were exhumed and placed in the chapel.References:
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.