/ / Chartres Cathedral: photos, description (Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Chartres)

Chartres Cathedral: photos, description (Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Chartres)

The construction of Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres began after the event which all felt a wonderful sign. In 1194 the building of the previous Cathedral was struck by lightning. The temple on fire, but it kept relic - the Holy shroud of the virgin Mary - was not damaged. In gratitude burnt down almost completely of the temple, it was decided to build a new building.

The history of the construction of the Cathedral in Chartres

Temples on the site of the present Cathedral stood since time immemorial. It is known that the first religious building was a pagan sanctuary, on which was built the first Christian Church. It is also known that the shroud was kept in one of the earlier churches in the ninth century. The temple also burned down and was rebuilt in the early eleventh century. 14 years after his consecration at Chartres there was a big fire that burned almost the entire city, but not affecting the Cathedral.

After the fire at the end of the XII century restoration of the Cathedral began on donations of citizens, the work was done more than sixty years, and another consecration took place only in 1260 in the presence of king Louis XI. Surprisingly, from the XIII century, the look, the Chartres Cathedral was not varied - it was not destroyed and never rebuilt. So now this building is recognized as an example of Gothic architecture and protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

The architecture of the temple

At the time of construction, the Cathedral was considered one of the tallest religious buildings of France: the height of the nave was 36 meters, and the height of the spire of one of the towers exceed 110 meters. The temple can be accessed through one of the nine portals, each of which is decorated with sculptures and relief compositions on biblical and old Testament themes. South facade of the Cathedral is decorated with astronomical clock, created in the XVI century.

Inside the temple, worthy of the attention of the carved wall of the XVI century, separating the choir and the altar. On it are carved scenes of the life of the mother of God and of Jesus Christ. A unique collection of stained glass Windows of Chartres Cathedral has 150 glass paintings, the earliest of them was founded in the XII century.

The shroud of the virgin Mary and is now kept in the Cathedral. It's part of the shirt that Maria was wearing at the time of the birth of Jesus. However, from medieval times, the shroud greatly reduced in size. The fact that during the revolution the rector of the Cathedral was ordered to split the relic into several parts and hide them in different places.


  • Location: 16 cloitre Notre-Dame Chartres.
  • Official website: cathedrale-chartres.org
  • Opening hours: daily from 8.30 to 19.30. During the service entry is prohibited. The maze is open on Fridays from 10.00 to 17.00. The rise of the tower is allowed to 17.30.
  • Tickets: admission is free. Fee for the audio guide, a tour of the crypt and climb the tower.