2 days in Chartres, France - 09/22/2023-9/23/2023

Day 1
City center
Lunch at Bistro Racines
Chartres Cathedral
Cathedral cont.
Ryan & Thomas's wedding
Day 2
Stroll downtown
Saint Pierre Church
Dinner at La Cour

Chartres Cathedral-9/22/2023

Chartres Cathedral also known as Notre Dame de Chartres was partly built in 1145 and then reconstructed over a 26 years period.  The Cathedral was built of limestone and stand about 112 ft. high and 427 ft. long. The Cathedral is renowned as one of the most beautiful and historically significant cathedrals in all Europe and was designated as World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1979, it is also known for its numerous sculptures and its much-celebrated stained glass. The cathedral’s association with the Virgin Mary (the supposed veil of the Virgin is kept in the cathedral treasury) made it the destination of pilgrims in the Middle Ages, many of them invalids seeking a cure for their afflictions. Today it continues to be a pilgrimage site for Roman Catholics and every year a lot of people make the trip to be at the Cathedral. 

The west Facade is the oldest part of the Cathedral which is a remnants of a Romanesque church that was mostly destroyed by fire in 1194. The present cathedral was constructed on the foundation of the earlier church and consecrated in 1260.



The West facade known as the Portail Royal (royal portal) has tree portals and two contrast towers. The two towers were built at different times, during the Gothic period, and have different heights and decoration.

On the right is the Clocher vieux (old clock) with a height of 349 ft. is also called the Tour Sud (South Tower) was constructed in 1140 and remains the tallest Romanesque steeple still standing.

On the left is the Clocher Neuf (new clock) also known as the Tour Nord (North Tower) with a height of 377 ft., it can be accessible by a long spiral stairway (350 steps) and was built in the early 16th century.


The three tympanums on the west facade depict Christ's ascension into heaven, episodes from his life, saints, apostles, Christ in the lap of Mary and other religious scene.


 Below the religious figures are statues of kings and queens, which is the reason why this entrance is known as the ‘royal’ portal.


The west facade with the two towers.


Panoramic view of the Cathedral and the surrounding.


This is the South facade with its flying buttress which allowed the architect to increase the window size significantly.


Side view of the south gate.


Main entrance of the south gate.


Panoramic view of the south gate.


The south gate also have 3 portals and it is depicting all about the time leading up to Christ’s incarnation.


 The central portal depicting scenes from the Last Judgment with the Apostles.


The Rose window on the south facade.


Panoramic view of the upper portion of the south facade.


This is the far right of the south facade.


Here you can see the far right and the far left of the South facade.


The 3rd gate from the south facade.


The North Facade illustrates the Old Testament and the Virgin Mary as precursors and preparations for Christ. The overall iconographical themes are clearly laid-out; the glorification of Mary in the center, the incarnation of her son on the left and Old Testament prefiguration and prophecies on the right.


North facade with view of the two towers in the back.


The right portal depicts the lives of martyrs.


Closer view of the right portal on the North facade.


We are now in the nave (central part) flanked by single aisles, broadening to a double-aisles ambulatory around the choir and the apse.


The nave is wider than any other cathedral in France (52 ft.) and is the purest 13th century ogival style.


The warm glow of the light inside the cathedral results from the beautiful stained glass windows which date mostly from the 14th century.


Beautiful stained glass window.


The stained windows glass are made around 1200-1235 and follow a uniform style, with figures in the upper panels related to the legends of saints, and in the lower panels representing the trade guilds and corporations who paid for them.


The great organ dated from the 14th century


The organ high above.


A sculpture of the crucifixion of Jesus in one of the chapels


Closer look at the crucifixion.


Stained glass windows above the crucifixion sculpture.


This is the West Entrance with the Rose window above


Rose window purpose is to allow more light into the Cathedral and they are often placed on the west facing wall to allow grander and beautiful intricate design in a circular format.


The western window depict Christ in glory on a red quatrefoil, as sovereign judge of all, holding out his arms to reveal his 5 wounds with blood flowing to remind us of his suffering.


NEXT... Chartres Cathedral continuation




Our house


Photo Gallery

 Mon  petit coin