La Cathedrale de Chartres

Chartres is about a 1.5 hour drive SW of Paris. 


  • Dedicated to the virgin Mary and John the Baptist

  • Late Gothic style with signature flying buttresses

  • Cruciform shape

  • Construction happened between 1193 & 1250

  • Famous relic: the sancta camisa – said to be the veil worn by the virgin Mary; given to the cathedral by Charlemagne in 876

  • The first cathedral burnt down in 1020 and was rebuilt with a crypt

  • 1194 a fire destroyed all but the west tower, facade, and crypt

  • October 24, 1260 the new building was dedicated to King Louis IV

  • Popular pilgrimage site

  • Labyrinth: 1205 it was used as a walking contemplation by monks – one path was 964 feet long

  • Stained glass: 150 – not only decorative but used as texts

Personal reflections – “This was one of my favorite sites. I loved reading the Bible stories on the windows. it shows how the stories have stayed the same for hundreds of years. The communities of people that constructed Chartres worked together so well for the sake of making something better for the future.”

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