Chartres Cathedral is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral located in Chartres not far from Paris. This is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in France and also one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It is listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.
The cathedral contains a lot of sculptures, particularly figure sculptures, ranging from large column statues to miniatures. They mostly depict scenes and figures from the Old and New Testaments.
The Chartres Cathedral was built following a fire that largely destroyed the previous church in 1194. The new building was complete by 1221 and the whole construction consecrated in 1260 as one of the most compelling expressions of the strength and poetry of medieval Catholicism.
Chartres Cathedral interior
Chartres Cathedral contains 176 stained-glass windows. Like the sculptures, the stained glass was intended to be educational. The five windows of the choir hemicycle (a semicircular arrangement) relate in various ways to the Virgin Mary. The rose window in the north transept portrays figures from the Old Testament. The south transept, which is representative of the New Testament, has a rose window depicting the Apocalypse.
The cathedral labyrinth
The beautifully preserved pavement labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral was constructed during the second decade of the 13th century. The labyrinth is 12.9 meters in diameter and fills the width of the nave.
It is a famous tourist attraction and place for the pilgrimage. Chartres Cathedral has housed the tunic of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sancta Camisia, since 876. The relic was said to have been given to the cathedral by Charlemagne, who received it as a gift during a trip to Jerusalem. Because of this relic, Chartres has been a very important Marian pilgrimage center and the faithful still come from all over the world to honor it.
- Location: 16 cloitre Notre-Dame, 28000, Chartres
- Nearby sights: La Maison Picassiette, Eglise St-Aignan, Maison du Saumon
- Nearby hotels: BEST WESTERN Le Grand Monarque, Mercure Chartres Centre Cathedrale, Hotel Jehan de Beauce
- Website: cathedrale-chartres.org
- Tel.: +33 2 37 21 75 02