Six Of The World’s Most Magnificent Stained Glass Artwork

Published January 17, 2013
Updated December 12, 2023

Sainte Chapelle, France

While many claim that Paris’ must-see cathedral is Notre Dame de Paris, Sainte Chapelle should also be high up on the list. This stunning Medieval Gothic gem was commissioned by Louis IX in 1239, who, in a typical, decadent monarchical fashion, required nothing short of an opulent cathedral to store his vast collection of Christian relics.

Within the highly-vaulted ceilings of the church are fifteen of the world’s finest stained glass windows, all of which depict highly saturated and detailed scenes from the Old and New Testament. These walls weren’t so divine that they were immune to human tampering, though; as a result of the French revolution, one third of the stained glass installations had to be replaced.

The Chicago Cultural Center, USA

While the Windy City might not house the nation’s winningest sports teams, it does boast one of the world’s most impressive displays of stained glass. Today’s Chicago Cultural Center, which was originally designed as a library in 1887, features a 38-foot tall Tiffany glass dome, which many Chicagoans claim to be the largest Tiffany dome in the world.

Magnificent Stained Glass Chicago Cultural Center 2

Source: Jeckels

Magnificent Stained Glass Chicago Cultural Center 3

Source: Deviantart

Grossm√ľnster Church, Switzerland

Within the ancient, austere walls of this Zurich place of worship (courtesy of great reformer Huldrych Zwingli) lays some extravagant 20th century art. In 2009, artist Sigmar Polke took to the iconic Swiss church and vamped it up with stained glass windows made of the semiprecious stone agate to set the cavernous interior aglow. The aesthetic “reformation” was as visually pleasing as it was necessary; 19th century composer Richard Wagner was known to have made fun of the church’s two-spired appearance, dubbing it the Church of “Two Pepper Dispensers”.

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All That's Interesting
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Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
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John Kuroski
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John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.