Chartres Cathedral, A Day Trip From Paris

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

It was an easy one hour train ride from the Montparnasse Train Station in Paris to Chartres and a nice change of pace to see the countryside after spending a few days in the city.  The 16 euro fare took us past cute French villages and through farm land.

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From the Chartre train station, it’s a short walk to the stunning cathedral that absolutely dominates the surrounding area.  It was a beautiful sight, and luckily we had sunny weather for our arrival.  The cathedral was built between 1194 and 1260, relatively quickly for a Gothic cathedral and the reason for its harmonious design.

The East Rose window

The West Rose window

We took our time walking the interior with an audio guide, and my sister’s running commentary bolstered by many years of art history helped my understanding of the stained glass windows.  There is nothing random about the stories the windows tell.

The South Rose Window

The North Rose Window, the center window on the bottom depicts Saint Anne holding the infant Mary

There are three rose windows, depicting different bible stories and times of Jesus’ life, and most of the stained glass is original.

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The ceiling over the choir

The famous "Blue Virgin" window on the right

The famous “Blue Virgin” window on the right

The "Blue Virgin" window from the 12th century.  The virgin is shown holding baby Jesus

The “Blue Virgin” window from the 12th century.

 

The "Blue Virgin" original glass

The “Blue Virgin” original glass

The virgin shown holding the baby Jesus is the oldest stained glass at Chartre.  This depiction of Mary dates from the previous church on the site that burned in 1194.  The four panels were incorporated into the windows of the 13th century church.

Piscese in the window next to the "Blue Virgin"

Pisces in the window next to the “Blue Virgin”

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The holy relic - the Sancta Camisia - is reputed to have been the robe Mary wore when she gave birth to Jesus.

The holy relic – the Sancta Camisia – is reputed to have been the robe Mary wore when she gave birth to Jesus.

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As we exited the cathedral we were hit with a cold rain driven by strong winds.  Retreating to a cafe we enjoyed a local lunch, and then headed back to Paris.  On the train northbound we saw the facade of The Chateau de Versailles off to the west.

Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette

Back in Paris by 3 pm, we hopped the metro to Galeries Lafayette, one of the city’s biggest department stores.   The building was beautiful with an Art Nouveau stained-glass dome, but the prices were so high we walked and looked, but didn’t buy.

Beautiful interior to Galeries Lafayette

Beautiful interior to Galeries Lafayette

A pretty dress displayed

A pretty dress displayed

 

http://www.cathedrale-chartres.org/en/,143.html

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6 Responses to Chartres Cathedral, A Day Trip From Paris

  1. Teresa Favazza says:

    What a beautiful Church And those
    Stained glass windows spectacular!
    Galeries Lafayette not. Bad either
    Hope you got Lots Of ideas to. bring back👠

  2. Teresa Favazza says:

    The Chartres Cathedral was certainly worth the trip. — Augie

  3. loriintampa says:

    Hi Laura – I love to live vicariously through you on the trip! Beautiful photos!! Next please take a foodie walk on Rue Cher and select the freshest baguette to enjoy the street aromas!!

  4. Kathleen Carter says:

    incredible!!!

  5. Joanie says:

    What A beautiful church. I am always interested in the “holy relics”. Let’s discuss when you get back. Once again fabulous pictures.

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