Normandy, France 2017 travel blog

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral


Today we departed St. Malo for Paris. Along the way we stopped at Chartres to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chartres Cathedral.

Since the majority of its construction in the late twelfth century, the cathedral has remained largely unscathed by the ravages of time, nature, the French Revolution and World War II. We walked around its boundary; 3 sides have the flying butresses, rose windows, beautiful doors and statues. The fourth side drops off down the side of a steep hill. Inside, we saw the 150 stained glass windows. Our local guide showed us how to read the windows. They all tell a story in pictures since the people back in the medieval times couldn't read. The windows all tell stories out of the bible, many of them about Mary, mother of Jesus. The cathedral's proper name is Notre Dame de Chartres, Cathedral of our Lady of Chartres..

It is a Gothic Catholic cathedral of the Latin Church located in Chartres, France, about 50 miles southwest of Paris. The current cathedral, mostly constructed between 1194 and 1220, is the last of at least five which have occupied the site since the town became a bishopric in the 4th century.

The cathedral has been well preserved. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century. The building's exterior is dominated by heavy flying buttresses which allowed the architects to increase the window size significantly, while the west end is dominated by two contrasting spires Equally notable are the three great fa├žades, each adorned with hundreds of sculpted figures illustrating key theological themes and narratives.

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