Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chartres Cathedral

Last Friday, John and I visited the famous Chartres Cathedral. It was built between 1194 and 1260, making it one of the quickest completed medieval churches ever built and thereby a exceptionally pure example of French High Gothic architecture.
Although the front is under restoration, the exterior of the building is stunning form any angle. Here we see it from the garden in the rear.
And here we see it from an alleyway on the north-west side.
Beautiful medieval carvings adorn the portal doors all around.
On entering the Cathedral we were struck by the height of the interior and the beautiful stained glass windows. The Cathedral is still a site of pilgrimage.
 We visited on a Friday because that is the day that the famous labyrinth (1205 AD) at the front of the structure is cleared for viewing. The labyrinth was used by monks as a device for meditation and continues to be traced by pilgrims and curious tourists.
The stained glass windows are apparently almost entirely original and are certainly beautiful especially on a sunny morning.
The carved Choir Screens (16th-18th century) are also beautifully wrought.
Tours of Chartres' details are available for those in want of an in-depth visit.
It's an amazing peek into the religious world of the Middle Ages.


  1. Oh, you two! Following your travels brings me such happiness that I hope you win the Lotto so you can forever blog about spending your days this way. What a treat, thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Thank you!
    We get a kick out of sharing our adventures so we're glad you're enjoying them.
    B & J
    p.s. Do we know you?