Vivaldi’s Four Seasons played in La Sainte Chapelle one warm evening
One of the nice things about being in Paris on holiday is that you are there purely to enjoy and experience. You take time to do what you do not find time to do in your own country very often.
A lovely thing to do is to go see a concert at one of the many venues in Paris.
You can catch a superb short classical experience at la Sainte Chapelle – the stunning, holy chapel that Saint Louis built originally to house the Crown of Thorns and a piece of the true cross he brought back from the Holy Land during one of the crusades in the 13th century. He is said to have paid King Baldwin of Constantinople for the relics over 3 times what it cost to build his beautiful chapel to house them.
Such was his faith and devotion.
A Vivaldi concert (as an example) in this small chapel surrounded by Louis’ original stained glass illuminations is an experience never to be forgotten. I have been twice and simply welled up each time with the beauty of the moment. Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart will do that.
Get tickets on the net or line up or go to the box office in advance outside la Sainte Chapelle (connected to the Conciergerie on the Ile de la Cite.)
Remember; seats will be un-numbered which is a pain as it means you have to push in early to get a good seat or be relegated up the back. The French don’t do “les places numerotees” very often which means a bit of a bun-fight when the doors open. Tant pis, c’est comme ca!
There are similar concerts in the oldest church in Paris (inside the ancient city walls that is): Eglise de Saint Germain des Pres, or in Notre Dame cathedral itself (fancy a bit of Gregorian chanting for example?) and other smaller venues such as Saint Ephrem, the cute little Saint Julien le Pauvre and the enormous La Madeleine (built by Napoleon) And of course – Opera Garnier and Opera Bastille hold wonderful concerts bien sur! Access tickets at their websites or through Classictic.
Another very different venue is Pleyel.
Eponymously named after the piano manufacturer & composer who built this concert venue for classical music and for Chopin who played his first and his last piano concert there. It is near les Champs (Elysees) on the right bank in rue Saint Honore and is now home to the Paris Orchestra. Go here to listen to world-renowned artists play Dvorak, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Hadyn, Strauss, Prokoviev and more. Access tickets online at their website called Salle Pleyel or at Classictic.