While some grand Gothic buildings can take years and years to build (in some cases hundreds - we’re looking at you, Sagrada Familia), the stunning Sainte-Chapelle was completed in a swift 7 years in the 13th Century.
Built inside the Palais de la Cité (where the French kings lived until the 14th Century), it was commissioned by King Louis IX so he would have somewhere to house all of his religious relics. After seeing the building, you’d be excused for thinking it’s a bit extra for what was ultimately intended as a trinket box. It’s now a museum and makes for a beautiful day trip, with its 1113 stained glass windows, depicting the history of the world up until the building’s completion.
The holy relics housed in the Sainte-Chapelle actually cost more than the construction of the building itself. These include the Holy Crown (the crown of thorns thought to be worn by Jesus) and a piece of the True Cross (thought to be wood from the cross from Jesus’ crucifixion). The Holy Crown has since been moved a couple of times, including after the Notre Dame fire in 2019, and is now housed in the Louvre Museum.