Sainte-Chapelle housed the Crown of Thorns for over 500 years, from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution. Situated within the palace walls, Saint-Chapelle stands to this day as a reliquary chapel. Entering the structure, the first thing that strikes the visitor is the extensive use of stained glass and the Gothic sense of elevation. However, the Crown of Thorns is no longer housed in Sainte-Chapelle. The separation of the reliquary chapel and the relic marked the modernization of France.
Thomas Becket (1120–70) was an archbishop, martyr, and saint. He is one of the most researched men from the Middle Ages. Badges of him, which have been discovered in abundance, not only attest to his cult but also help us understand and evaluate the vibrant developments of art and literature about the pilgrimage to Canterbury. Various interpretations of these badges have been made by Jennifer Lee, Kay Slocum, and Hanneke Van Asperen, in terms of their production, consumption, and distribution.
Standing at a height of 5.2m, Muiredach’s Cross (Fig. 1a) is one of the tallest points punctuating this once-monastic settlement of Monasterboice. Approaching from the narrow Southeast entrance of the enclosure (Fig. 2), the cross is the first thing that strikes the eye—a silhouette of solid sandstone against the sky.