Castle Chapels

The chapels of castles are often moving testimonies of the life of the chatelains, and bear the traces of their weddings, coronations or burials. If you visit these castles, don't forget to take a look at their chapels!

Wikimedia Commons/Jonathan Oldenbuck

St Margaret's Chapel - Edinburgh Castle

St Margaret's Chapel is the chapel of Edinburgh Castle. This example of Norman architecture is the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, probably built in the early 12th century. St Margaret's Chapel fell into disrepair during the Protestant Reformation and then served as a powder keg from the 16th century until the mid 19th century when Sir Daniel Wilson undertook the restoration of the building with the support of Queen Victoria. In 1929, further work was carried out to return the chapel to worship, consecrated on 16 March 1934.

St Margaret's Chapel
Wikimedia Commons/Diego Delso

St Anne's Chapel - Malbork Castle

St Anne's Chapel in Malbork Castle was the burial chapel of the great Teutonic masters. Desecrated during the Swedish Wars in the 17th century, the chapel was eventually given to the Jesuit order and was used as their burial place in the 18th century. After 1780 the chapel was taken over by the parish clergy and between 1821 and 1823 it was renovated and restored. The building was again completely revitalised and the interior was altered by Conrad Steinbrecht in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

St Anne's Chapel

Capela - Quinta da Regaleira

The Quinta da Regaleira complex is much younger than it seems since it was built at the beginning of the 20th century, from 1904 to 1910. Within the complex, the Regaleira Chapel faces the main façade of the palace. The small building, like the palace, mixes Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline styles. The interior of the chapel is richly decorated with frescoes, stained glass windows and stuccoes. The floor is covered with symbols: representations of the armillary sphere of the Portuguese discoveries and the Order of the Cross of Christ, surrounded by pentagrams.

Quinta da Regaleira Chapel
© Bwag/CC-BY-SA-4.0._0

St. Elisabeth's Chapel - Burghausen Castle

St. Elisabeth's Chapel in Burghausen Castle was founded by Duke Henry XIII (1235-1290) and his wife Elisabeth (1236-1271). It was consecrated to St. Elisabeth of Thuringia, the duchess' aunt who was canonised in 1235. The present appearance of the nave, which was originally flat-roofed and most probably painted, is mainly determined by the late Gothic-style net vault from the time of George the Wealthy (1455-1503). The walls of the choir are decorated with wall paintings dating from around 1400, and the remains of a late 16th-century painting can also be seen.

St. Elisabeth's Chapel
© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Palatine Chapel - Palace of Aachen

The Palatine Chapel of Aachen was built between 792 and 804 by Odon of Metz (742-814). It was Charlemagne's private chapel in Aachen, which was part of his palatine complex. It contains the remains of Charlemagne and was a place of coronation for about 600 years. In the 21st century, the chapel has been preserved almost intact, despite later additions and major repairs in the 19th century. As part of Aachen Cathedral, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Palatine Chapel
Wikimedia Commons/Aurelien Guichard

St George Chapel - Windsor Castle

St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle has a rich and varied history, entangled with the one of the Royal Family. The construction of the Gothic chapel began in 1475 during the reign of King Edward IV of England and continued in the 16th century on the basis of the chapel of King Edward the Confessor from the 13th century. Members of the Royal Family have been baptised, married and buried in the Chapel.

St George Chapel
Wikimedia Commons/Hardscarf

Sainte-Chapelle - Palais de la Cité

Sainte-Chapelle, in the former Palais de la Cité, is a palatine chapel built in 1241-1248 at the request of King Saint-Louis. Emblematic building of the radiant Gothic, the Sainte-Chapelle is classified as a historical monument since 1862, a year before the completion of its restoration. With the Conciergerie, the Sainte-Chapelle is one of the remains of the city's palace, which has extended to the site that houses the current courthouse.

© Bwag/CC-BY-SA-4.0.

Hofburg Chapel - Hofburg Castle

The Hofburg Chapel is the oldest and main chapel of the Hofburg Palace and the chapel of the Habsburg House. A Romanesque chapel has existed here since the 13th century and was extended in Gothic style from 1447 to 1449. Maria Theresa (1745-1765) ordered a Baroque reconstruction of the chapel, but the chapel regained its Gothic appearance in 1802. The chapel occasionally houses the famous Viennese Court Music Orchestra.

Hofburg Chapel
Wikimedia Commons/Andrea Schaffer

Cappella Palatina - Norman Palace

The Palatine Chapel was built between 1130 and 1140 for the use of the first Norman king of Sicily, Roger II. It is an emblematic building of the Arab-Norman style. The chapel is filled with golden mosaics in Byzantine style. They were made by Greek artists called for this purpose by Roger II. They date back to the 12th century but have undergone numerous restorations and repairs over the years. The chapel has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015.

Cappella Palatina