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Encyclopedia > Cathedral of Chartres
Chartres Cathedral a
UNESCO World Heritage Site

State Party Flag of France France
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv
Identification #81
Regionb Europe and North America

Inscription History
Formal Inscription 1979
3rd Session

a Name as officially inscribed on the World Heritage List
b As classified officially by UNESCO
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1200x1600, 425 KB) Front view of the cathedral at Chartres, France I attest that I am the copyright holder for this image and I release it for use under the Creative Commons 2. ... As of 2006, there are a total of 830 World Heritage Sites located in 138 State Parties. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_France. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State...

The Cathedral of Chartres ("Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres," French: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres), located in Chartres, about 50 miles (80 km) from Paris, is considered one of the finest examples in all France of the "Gothic" style of architecture. The cathedral is still the seat of the Diocese of Chartres, in the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical province of Tours. Chartres is a town and commune of France, préfecture (capital) of the Eure-et-Loir département. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Interior of Cologne Cathedral Gothic architecture is a style of architecture, particularly associated with cathedrals and other churches, which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. ... Architecture (from Latin, architectura and ultimately from Greek, a master builder, from αρχι- chiefs, leader , builder, carpenter)[1] is the art and science of designing buildings and structures. ... The Diocese of Chartres is a Roman Catholic diocese. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... This is a list of the bishops and, from 815, the archbishops of Tours: St. ...

Contents

History of the Cathedral

Construction of a new building on the Romanesque foundations was begun in 1145 in a blaze of enthusiasm dubbed the 'Cult of the Carts.' During this religious outburst a crowd of more than a thousand penitents dragged carts filled with building provisions including stones, wood, grain, etc. to the site.[1] In 1194 a fire destroyed all but the west front of the cathedral (and much of the town), so that part is in the "early Gothic" style. The body of the cathedral was rebuilt between 1194 and 1220, a remarkably short span for medieval cathedrals. It has a ground area of 117 058 square feet (10 875 m²). This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Events Pope Lucius II is succeeded by Pope Eugene III Nur ad-Din ascends to power in Syria Construction begins on Notre-Dame dChartres in Chartres, France Korean historian Kim Pusik compiled the historical text Samguk Sagi. ... Events November 20 - Palermo falls to Henry VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire December 25 - Henry VI is crowned king of Sicily. ... Events November 20 - Palermo falls to Henry VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire December 25 - Henry VI is crowned king of Sicily. ... // The world in 1220 Middle Ages in Europe Fifth Crusade (1217-1221) Events Mongols first invade Abbasid caliphate - Bukhara and Samarkand taken End of the Kara-Khitan Khanate, destroyed by Genghis Khans Mongolian cavalry Dominican Order approved by Pope Honorius III Frederick II crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope...


Chartres is a cathedral that inspires superlatives, and there are few architectural historians who have not waxed lyrical about its soaring aisles and delicate carving. These tributes are richly deserved, for Chartres is truly one of the greatest of all French Gothic cathedrals. From a distance it seems to hover in mid-air above waving fields of wheat, and it is only when the visitor draws closer that the city comes into view, clustering around the hill on which the cathedral stands. Its two contrasting spires — one, a 105 metre (349 ft) plain pyramid dating from the 1140s, and the other a 113 metre (377 ft) tall early 16th century Flamboyant spire on top of an older tower — soar upwards over the pale green roof, while all around the outside are complex flying buttresses. A cathedral is a religious building for worship, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican and some Lutheran churches, which serves as a bishops seat, and thus as the central church of a diocese. ... Flying buttresses at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. ...

West end of Chartres

According to legend, since 876 the Cathedral has housed a tunic that has been said to have belonged to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sancta Camisia. The relic had supposedly been given to the Cathedral by Charlemagne who received it as a gift during a crusade in Jerusalem. In fact, the relic was a gift from Charles the Bald and it has been asserted that the fabric came from Syria and that it had been woven during the first century AD. For hundreds of years, Chartres has been a very important Marian pilgrimage center and today the faithful still come from the world over to honour the relic. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1311x3201, 1178 KB)Chartres, West End elevation. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1311x3201, 1178 KB)Chartres, West End elevation. ... Events Seiwa is succeeded by Yozei as emperor of Japan. ... Our Lady redirects here. ... A relic is an object, especially a piece of the body or a personal item of someone of religious significance, carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a tangible memorial, Relics are an important aspect of Buddhism, some denominations of Christianity, Hinduism, shamanism, and many other personal belief systems. ... A portrait of Charlemagne by Albrecht Dürer that was painted several centuries after Charlemagnes death. ... This article is about the medieval crusades. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Charles the Bald - Detail from a painting in the First Bible of Charles the Bald, painted ca. ...


The church was an especially popular pilgrimage destination in the 12th century. There were four great fairs which coincided with the main feast days of the Virgin; the Purification; the Annunciation; the Assumption and the Nativity. The fairs were held in the surrounding area of the cathedral were attended by many of the pilgrims in town for the feast days and to see the cloak of the Virgin. (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... Categories: Move to Wiktionary | Stub | Chemistry ... A key piece of the Paleologan Mannerism - the Annunciation icon from Ohrid. ... The Assumption has been a subject of Christian art for centuries. ... For the Nativity of Jesus, see Nativity of Jesus. ...

Chartres floorplan
Chartres floorplan

The cathedral was the most important building in the town of Chartres. It was the centre of the economy, the most famous landmark and the focal point of almost every activity that is provided by civic buildings in towns today. In the Middle Ages, the cathedral functioned sometimes as a marketplace, with the different portals of the basilica selling different items: textiles at the northern end; fuel, vegetables and meat at the southern one. Sometimes the clergy would try, in vain, to stop the life of the markets from entering into the cathedral. Wine sellers were forbidden to sell wine in the crypt, but were allowed to do business in the nave of the church and avoid the taxes which they would have to pay if they sold it outside. Workers of various professions gathered in the cathedral seeking jobs, such as carpenters and masons. Food was even allowed to be sold in the cathedral.[citation needed] Image File history File links ChartresDB383. ... Image File history File links ChartresDB383. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Taj Mahal Big Ben Saint Basils Cathedral For other senses of this word, see landmark (disambiguation). ... Civic can refer to multiple things: Civics, the science of comparative government Honda Civic, a small car produced by the Honda Motor Co. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... A glass of red wine This article is about the alcoholic beverage. ...


Even before the Gothic cathedral was built, Chartres had been a place of pilgrimage. When ergotism (more popularly known in the Middle Ages as "St. Anthony's fire") afflicted many victims, the crypt of the original church became a hospital to care for the sick.[2] Ergotism is the effect of long-term ergot poisoning, classically due to the ingestion of the alkaloids produced by the Claviceps purpurea fungus which infects rye and other cereals, and more recently by the action of a number of ergoline-based drugs. ... Crypt is also a commonly used name of water trumpets, aquatic plants. ...


The existing cathedral at Chartres is another of the French Gothic masterpieces built because fire had destroyed its predecessors. After the first cathedral of any great substance burnt down in 1020 (prior to this, other churches on the site had disappeared in smoke), a glorious new Romanesque basilica, which included a massive crypt, was built under the direction of Bishop Fulbert and later under the direction of Geoffroy de Lèves. However, having survived a fire in 1134 which destroyed much of the rest of the town, disaster struck yet again in the night from the 10th to the 11th of June 1194 when lightning created a blaze that left only the west towers, the façade between them and the crypt. Events Hospice built in Jerusalem by Knights Hospitaller City of Saint-Germain-en-Laye founded Third Italian campaign of Henry II of Germany Canute the Great codifies the laws of England Births Harold II of England (approximate) Empress Agnes of Poitou, regent of the Holy Roman Empire (d. ... Romanesque St. ... Fulbert of Chartres (born 960, died April 10, 1028) was a French scholar, teacher, and bishop of Chartres (1007-1028). ... Events Baalbeck taken by Genghis Khan House of Brandenburg begins when Albrecht the Bear is made head of the Nordmark St. ... Events November 20 - Palermo falls to Henry VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire December 25 - Henry VI is crowned king of Sicily. ...


The people despaired when they believed that their sacred relic, the Sancta Camisia, had perished too. But three days later it was found unharmed in the treasury along with the priests who had taken it there for safety when the fire broke out and locked themselves in behind the iron trapdoors. The visiting Cardinal Melior of Pisa, a papal legate, told the people that the survival of the relic was a sign from Mary herself and that another, even more magnificent, cathedral should be built in Chartres.

Figures from the Cathedral of Chartres

Rebuilding, with the help of donations from all over France, began almost immediately, using the plans laid out by the first architect, still anonymous, in order to preserve the harmonious aspect of the Cathedral. The enthusiasm for the project was such that the people of the city voluntarily gathered to haul the stone needed from local quarries 5 miles (8 km) away. Download high resolution version (584x884, 83 KB)Figures from Cathedral of Chartres File links The following pages link to this file: Cathedral of Chartres Categories: User-created public domain images ... Download high resolution version (584x884, 83 KB)Figures from Cathedral of Chartres File links The following pages link to this file: Cathedral of Chartres Categories: User-created public domain images ...


Work began first on the nave and by 1220 the main structure was complete, with the old crypt, along with the mid-12th-century Royal Portal which had also escaped the fire, incorporated into the new building. On October 24, 1260 the cathedral was finally dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX.[3] However, the cathedral was never completed with the full set of spires that appear to have been planned for it in the early thirteenth century. October 24 is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 68 days remaining. ... The magnificent Cathedral of Chartres was dedicated in 1260. ... Louis IX (25 April 1215 – 25 August 1270), commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 to his death. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ...


Description

The plan is cruciform, with a 427-foot (128 m) long nave, and short transepts to the south and north. The east end is rounded with an ambulatory which has five semi-circular chapels radiating from it. The cathedral extensively used flying buttresses in its original plan, and these supported the weight of the extremely high vaults, at the time of being built, the highest in France. The new High Gothic cathedral at Chartres used 4 rib vaults in a rectangular space, instead of 6 in a square pattern, as in earlier Gothic cathedrals such as at Laon. The skeletal system of supports, from the compound piers all the way up to the springing and transverse and diagonal ribs, allowed large spaces of the cathedral to be free for stained glass work, as well as a towering height. Links to full descriptions of the elements of a Gothic floorplan are also found at the entry Cathedral diagram. ... A chapel is a private church, usually small and often attached to a larger institution such as a college, a hospital, a palace, or a prison. ... The Lierne vault of the Liebfrauenkirche, Mühlacker 1482. ... Exterior of the cathedral The cathedral of Notre-Dame of Laon is one of the most important examples of the Gothic architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries, ranking with the cathedrals of Saint-Étienne of Sens and Notre Dame of Paris. ...


The spacious nave stands 121 feet (36 m) high, and there is an unbroken view from the western end right along to the magnificent dome of the apse in the east. Clustered columns rise dramatically from plain bases to the high pointed arches of the ceiling, directing the eye to the massive clerestory windows in the apse. This article is about an architectural feature; for the astronomical term see apsis. ...

Walking the famous labyrinth within the Chartres Cathedral.
Walking the famous labyrinth within the Chartres Cathedral.

Everywhere vivid colour splashes on to the floor from the superb stained glass windows. Dating from the early 13th century, the glass largely escaped harm during the religious wars of the 16th century; it is said to constitute one of the most complete collections of medieval stained glass in the world, despite “modernization” in 1753 when some of it was removed by well-intentioned but misguided clergy. From the original 186 stained-glass windows, 152 have survived. The stained glass windows are particularly renowned for their vivid blue colour, especially in a representation of the Madonna and Child known as the Blue Virgin Window. Download high resolution version (2560x1920, 1065 KB) Walking the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres) in Chartres, France. ... Download high resolution version (2560x1920, 1065 KB) Walking the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres) in Chartres, France. ... A Roman mosaic picturing Theseus and the Minotaur. ... Strictly speaking, stained glass is glass that has been painted with silver stain and then fired. ... The French Wars of Religion were a series of conflicts fought between Catholics and Huguenots (Protestants) from the middle of the sixteenth century to the Edict of Nantes in 1598, including civil infighting as well as military operations. ...


They also present the first European wheelbarrow.[4] During the second World War, most of the stained glass was removed from the cathedral, and stored in the surrounding countryside, for protection from German bombers. At the close of the war, the windows were taken out of hiding and replaced. A common wheelbarrow Older wheelbarrow Wheelbarrows on the Belomorkanal A wheelbarrow is a small one-wheeled, hand-propelled vehicle, designed to be pushed and guided by a single person using two handles to the rear. ...


Several of the windows were donated by royalty, such as the rose window at the north transept, which was a gift from the French queen Blanche of Castile. The royal influence is shown in some of the long rectangular lancet windows which display the royal symbols of the yellow fleurs-de-lis on a blue background and also yellow castles on a red background.Windows were also donated from lords, locals and tradespeople. Blanche of Castile (March 4, 1188 – November 26, 1252), wife of Louis VIII of France. ... Lancet windows light the altar trubune in the Basilica of Mary Magdalene, Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume A lancet window is a tall narrow window with a pointed arch at its top [1] It acquired the lancet name from it resemblence to a lance [2]. Instances of this architectural motif... Fleurs-de-lys on the flag of Quebec The fleur-de-lis (also spelled fleur-de-lys; plural fleurs-de-lis or -lys) is used in heraldry, where it is particularly associated with the France monarchy (see King of France). ...


The cathedral has three large rose windows: one on the west front with a theme of The Last Judgment; one on the north transept with a theme of the Glorification of the Virgin; and one on the south transept with a theme of the Glorification of Christ.

Depiction of Pride on the left pillar of the central bay of the south porch of Chartres Cathedral
Depiction of Pride on the left pillar of the central bay of the south porch of Chartres Cathedral

On the doors and porches medieval carvings of statues holding swords, crosses, books and trade tools parade around the portals, their expressions as clear today as when first carved 700 years ago. The sculptures on the west façade depict Christ's ascension into heaven, episodes from his life, saints, apostles, Christ in the lap of Mary and other religious scenes. Below the religious figures are statues of kings and queens, which is the reason why this entrance is known as the 'royal' portal. While these figures are based on figures from the Old Testament, they were also regarded as images of current kings and queens when they were constructed. The symbolism of showing royalty displayed slightly lower than the religious sculptures, but still very close, implies the relationship between the kings and God. It is a way of displaying the authority of royalty, showing them so close to figures of Christ, it gives the impression they have been ordained and put in place by God. Sculptures of the Seven Liberal Arts appeared in the archivolt of the right bay of the Royal Portal, which represented the school at Chartres. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 756 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1512 × 1200 pixel, file size: 415 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Pride Cathedral of... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 756 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1512 × 1200 pixel, file size: 415 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Pride Cathedral of... Pride refers to a strong sense of self-respect, a refusal to be humiliated as well as joy in the accomplishments of oneself or a person, group, or object that one identifies with. ... Sculptor redirects here. ... Christ is the English of the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... Saint Mary and Saint Mary the Virgin both redirect here. ... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh. ... An archivolt is a group of mouldings (or other elements) surrounding an arched opening, corresponding to the architrave in the case of a rectangular opening. ...

South elevation.
South elevation.

The Cathedral of Chartres was not destroyed nor looted during the French Revolution and the numerous restorations have not altered its glorious beauty. It always stayed the same: a triumph of Gothic art. The cathedral was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3340x1827, 2439 KB) Summary Chartres. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3340x1827, 2439 KB) Summary Chartres. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... The Western (Royal) Portal at Chartres Cathedral ( 1145). ... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... Elabana Falls is in Lamington National Park, part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves World Heritage site in Queensland, Australia. ...


In the Middle Ages the cathedral also functioned as an important cathedral school. Charlemagne wanted a system of education for the French people in the ninth century, and since it was difficult and costly for new schools to be built, it was easier to use already existing infrastructure. So he ordered that both cathedrals and monasteries maintain schools. Cathedral schools eventually took over from monastic schools as the main places of education. In the 11th century the education system was controlled by the clergy in cathedrals such as Chartres. The cathedral itself symbolized the school. Many French cathedral schools had specialties, and Chartres was most renowned for the study of logic. The new logic taught in Chartres was regarded by many as being even ahead of Paris. One person who was educated at Chartres was John of Salisbury, an English philosopher and writer, who had his classical training there. In medieval europe, cathedral schools were schools operated by cathedrals, typically having fewer than 100 students. ... A portrait of Charlemagne by Albrecht Dürer that was painted several centuries after Charlemagnes death. ... Buddhist monastery near Tibet A monastery is the habitation of monks. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... John of Salisbury (c. ...


Statistics

  • length: 130 m
  • width: 32/46 m
  • nave: height 37 meters; width 16.4 m
  • 176 stained-glass windows
  • rood screen: 200 statues in 41 scenes

The rood screen (also choir screen or chancel screen) is a common feature in late medieval church architecture, dividing the chancel from the nave. ...

In Popular Culture

Orson Welles famously used Chartres as a visual backdrop and inspiration for a remarkable montage sequence in his film F For Fake. Welles’ semi-autographical verse spoke to the power of art in culture and how the work itself may be more important than the identity of its creators. Feeling that the beauty of Chartres and its unknown artisans/architects epitomized this sentiment, Welles said: This article contains a trivia section. ... F for Fake (1974) (original French title, Vérités et Mensonges) is the last major film completed by Orson Welles. ...

"Ours, the scientists keep telling us, is a universe which is disposable. You know it might be just this one anonymous glory of all things, this rich stone forest, this epic chant, this gaiety, this grand choiring shout of affirmation, which we choose when all our cities are dust; to stand intact, to mark where we have been, to testify to what we had it in us to accomplish. Our works in stone, in paint, in print are spared, some of them for a few decades, or a millennium or two, but everything must fall in war or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash: the triumphs and the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life... we're going to die. 'Be of good heart,' cry the dead artists out of the living past. Our songs will all be silenced - but what of it? Go on singing. Maybe a man's name doesn't matter all that much."

Joseph Campbell references his spiritual experience in "The Power of Myth"

"I'm back in the Middle Ages. I'm back in the world that I was brought up in as a child, the Roman Catholic spiritual-image world, and it is magnificent... That cathedral talks to me about the spiritual information of the world. It's a place for meditation, just walking around, just sitting, just looking at those beautiful things."

References

"Stranger in the Village" Baldwin, James

  1. ^ Honour, H. and Fleming, J. The Visual Arts: A History, 7th ed., Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005.
  2. ^ Favier, Jean. The World of Chartres. New York: Henry N. Abrams, 1990. p. 31. ISBN 0-8109-1796-3.
  3. ^ Favier, Jean. The World of Chartres. New York: Henry N. Abrams, 1990. p. 160. ISBN 0-8109-1796-3.
  4. ^ "Engines of Our Ingenuity" n°377, by John H. Lienhard]

Bibliography

  • Adams, Henry. Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1913 and many later editions.
  • Delaporte, Y. Les vitraux de la cathédrale de Chartres: histoire et description par l'abbé Y. Delaporte ... reproductions par É. Houvet. Chartres : É. Houvet, 1926. 3 volumes (consists chiefly of photographs of the windows of the cathedral)
  • Houvet, E. Cathédrale de Chartres. Chelles (S.-et-M.) : Hélio. A. Faucheux, 1919. 5 volumes in 7. (consists entirely of photogravures of the architecture and sculpture, but not windows)
  • Houvet, E. An Illustrated Monograph of Chartres Cathedral: (Being an Extract of a Work Crowned by Académie des Beaux-Arts). s.l.: s.n., 1930.
  • (German) Klug, Sonja Ulrike. Kathedrale des Kosmos. Die heilige Geometrie von Chartres. Munich 2001. ISBN 3-7205-2133-8
  • Mâle, Emile. Notre-Dame de Chartres. New York: Harper & Row, 1983.
  • Chartres was the primary basis for the fictional Cathedral in David Macaulay's Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction and the animated special based on this book.

David Macaulay (born December 2, 1946 in Lancashire, England) is an author and illustrator. ...

See also

This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

External links

Coordinates: 48°26′50″N, 1°29′16″E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...



  Results from FactBites:
 
Chartres Cathedral - MSN Encarta (366 words)
Chartres Cathedral, the cathedral church of Notre Dame (Our Lady) in the city of Chartres, in northwestern France, one of the foremost examples of High Gothic architecture (see Gothic Art and Architecture), and widely imitated for its innovations in architecture, sculpture, and stained glass.
Chartres is the first Gothic cathedral for which the original plans included flying buttresses for structural support.
Chartres Cathedral is also well known for its more than 150 stained-glass windows, most of which are original, dating from about 1210 to about 1260.
Cathédrale Notre Dame at Chartres (1525 words)
Chartres’ history as a holy place has legendary roots in the pre-Christian era, when Druids, the Celtic priests of Britain and Gaul, held sacred rites in natural settings like the forest groves and underground grottoes that once lay at Chartres.
Chartres’ medieval architects, masons, glaziers and sculptors created a sacred shrine that continues to move pilgrims today, whether they are traditional Christians, spiritual seekers who connect with the site’s Druidic roots, or those devoted to great art and architecture.
Chartres Cathedral, however, is suffering the effects of old age: Eight hundred years of exposure to weather, pollution and human use have caused tremendous damage.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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