A great side trip from Paris is the city of Chartres — and its famous cathedral, arguably Europe’s best example of pure Gothic architecture. It was built quickly, so the cathedral has a unity of architecture, statuary, and stained glass that captures the spirit of the Age of Faith like no other church.
In the city of Chartres you can see not the extravagance of rich elites, but the extravagance of medieval piety. A sight which for centuries heartened the weary spirits of approaching pilgrims.
Long years from now visitors come to Chartres to see its Cathedral, and they find that the city itself is a delight. And wherever you are in Chartres its massive Cathedral seems to loom overhead. For over 800 years, the church has attracted travelers and inspired those ho visit.
The earlier church burned in 1194, but it was rebuilt so quickly and lavishly that is has a much appreciated unity of architecture, statuary and stained glass. It captures the spirit of the 13th century.
The architecture is Gothic, the Gothic architect create a skeleton of support with columns, pointed arches and buttresses so that the walls no longer need to support the heavy stone ceiling, but are freed up to hold the windows.
Chartres is most famous for its stained glass and statues. It is like a picture of the entire Christian story told through its art.
There is a Cathedral dedicated to Norte Dame or Our Lady, it all leads to Mary. You can see her on her deathbed, than angels gently whish her upward so she can sit on he throne with Jesus in paradise.
The Gothic structure of this Cathedral allows plenty of windows. Chartres contains the world’s largest surviving collection of medieval stained glass. The light pouring through these windows was mystical and encouraged meditation and prayer.
This Cathedral will leave you speechless with its beauty, so if you ever visit Paris, take this side trip and enjoy.