Also referred to as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, the Chartres Cathedral foundation was laid in 1145. As fate would have it, the cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1194 and it would take another 26 years to reconstruct it…that is as far as this sad narrative goes and its grandeur starts.
The cathedral is the most ethereal remaining monument that is reminiscent of the French Gothic Art. For this reason, the cathedral is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the last of 5 cathedrals that have occupied the same site.
As a World Heritage Site, the cathedral is in a state of exceptional state of preservation. In fact, its giant nave that is constructed in pure ogival style, porches, fine sculptures and 13th century stained glass windows will mesmerize the observing eye due to their age. Although the architecture has seen minor changes, the cathedral is still a monument that was erected here more than 500 years ago. The structure of the cathedral consists of a 105 meter plain pyramid, and a 113 16th century spire on top of an old tower. Equally mesmerizing are the 3 beautiful facades, the sculpted figures and their theological themes and the ever popular Gothic art
The cathedral has since the 12th century been one of the major attractions in the French town of Chartres which is about 50 miles south west of Paris. It has seen Christian pilgrims pay their homage to this venerated religious relic for generations. The Santa Camisa, a tunic believed to have been worn by Virgin Mary during Christ’s birth has also seen hundreds of secular visitors come to the cathedral.
If not for its beauty, visit this cathedral for its historical value. In fact, make sure that this cathedral is on your French itinerary. It will surely be your loss if you do not grace a 12th century monument. Besides, there is nothing better than the feeling you get when in ancient church – it always feel like you are nearer to God than in the regular 20th and 21st century…