World Heritage Photos

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral is a Gothic cathedral in the medieval town of Chartres in France. Along with the cathedrals of Reims and Amiens, Chartres Cathedral belongs to the three High Gothic or Classical French cathedrals built in the 13th century.The cathedral was built following a fire that destroyed a previous church in 1194, only the western facade and crypt survived. Also the most precious relic survived: the tunic of the Virgin Mary, the Sancta Camisia. This was considered as a sign from the Virgin Mary herself that another, even more magnificent, cathedral should be built in Chartres. The rebuilding of Chartres Cathedral started almost immediately in 1194. The cathedral was consecrated in 1260. The cathedral is famous for its stained glass windows. The deep intense blue color, known as 'Chartres Blue', is immortalized in the imposing stained glass windows. One of the outstanding features of the cathedral is the Chartres Labyrinth, inlaid in the nave floor. A labyrinth is a feature of most medieval cathedrals, the 13th century Chartres Labyrinth is the largest medieval labyrinth in the world. Along with Mont Saint-Michel, Chartres Cathedral became one of the most important destinations of medieval Christian pilgrimage in France. Chartres Cathedral is located along the Way of James. Even today, Chartres Cathedral is an important stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The cathedral is located in the historic centre of Chartres, about 80 km southwest of Paris. Chartres Cathedral gained status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

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Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The south portal was built in te period 1224-1250 and shows scenes of the New Testament. The 13th century north portal...

Chartres Cathedral: The south portal was built in te period 1224-1250 and shows scenes of the New Testament. The 13th century north portal shows scenes from the Old Testament. The west portal is the oldest part of Chartres Cathedral and dates from 1150, it was spared in the fire of 1194. The west portal, known as the Royal Portal, shows scenes from 'Christ in Majesty'.

  1. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The south portal was built in te period 1224-1250 and shows scenes of the New Testament. The 13th century north portal...

    Chartres Cathedral: The south portal was built in te period 1224-1250 and shows scenes of the New Testament. The 13th century north portal shows scenes from the Old Testament. The west portal is the oldest part of Chartres Cathedral and dates from 1150, it was spared in the fire of 1194. The west portal, known as the Royal Portal, shows scenes from 'Christ in Majesty'.

  2. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The south rortal, the left bay. Chartres Cathedrals has nine portals. The west portals, also called the Royal...

    Chartres Cathedral: The south rortal, the left bay. Chartres Cathedrals has nine portals. The west portals, also called the Royal Portals, are among the few surviving parts of an earlier church. The Royal Portals are decorated with late Romanesque statues such as the ancient Greeks Aristotle, Euclid and Pythagoras. Chartres Cathedral was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

  3. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: One of the gargoyles of the south portal. The cathedral is not only famous for its stained glass windows, but also for...

    Chartres Cathedral: One of the gargoyles of the south portal. The cathedral is not only famous for its stained glass windows, but also for its profuse decorations. Chartres Cathedral has nine elaborate sculpted gates, decorated with more than 4000 fine sculpted statues. The 12th and 13th centuries statues of Chartres Cathedral are unique in France.

  4. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The south portal is adorned with statues of the twelve apostles. Chartres Cathedral was not damaged during the Wars of...

    Chartres Cathedral: The south portal is adorned with statues of the twelve apostles. Chartres Cathedral was not damaged during the Wars of Religion and the French Revolution. During the First World War and Second World War, the stained glass windows were removed and replaced after the wars. Chartres Cathedral is preserved in its original design and details.

  5. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The 13th century south portal. Chartres Cathedral was built following a fire that destroyed the previous church in 1194. The...

    Chartres Cathedral: The 13th century south portal. Chartres Cathedral was built following a fire that destroyed the previous church in 1194. The rebuilding started almost immediately in 1194. Chartres Cathedral was consecrated in 1260. The original design and details of the cathedral has almost been completely preserved.

  6. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral is celebrated for its stained glass windows. The deep intense blue colour is known as 'Chartres Blue', it is...

    Chartres Cathedral is celebrated for its stained glass windows. The deep intense blue colour is known as 'Chartres Blue', it is immortalized in the stained glass windows. In the west where the sun sets, the rose window shows the Last Judgment. The West Rose window dates from the 13th century. Chartres Cathedral contains 176 windows which hold 5000 images.

  7. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The most precious relic of the cathedral is the tunic of the Virgin Mary, also known as the Sancta Camisia. The...

    Chartres Cathedral: The most precious relic of the cathedral is the tunic of the Virgin Mary, also known as the Sancta Camisia. The cathedral houses the Sancta Camisia since 876, the relic was given to Chartres Cathedral  by Charlemagne, it survived the fire in 1194, this was considered as a sign from the Virgin herself that another, even more majestic cathedral should be built.

  8. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The Notre Dame de Pilar is also called the Black Madonna of Chartres. The present Chartres Cathedral was built...

    Chartres Cathedral: The Notre Dame de Pilar is also called the Black Madonna of Chartres. The present Chartres Cathedral was built after a fire, the rebuilding started almost immediately, the cathedral was consecrated in 1260. Chartres Cathedral is considered as the seat of the Virgin Mary's on Earth. Chartres Cathedral is a pilgrimage cathedral.

  9. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The Blue Virgin window dates from around 1150. The east window where the sun rises portrays the incarnation of the eternal...

    Chartres Cathedral: The Blue Virgin window dates from around 1150. The east window where the sun rises portrays the incarnation of the eternal world, the birth and childhood of Christ and shows Christ converting water into wine at the Marriage at Cana. During the two world wars, the windows were dismantled piece by piece to be stored for safety.

  10. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The choir screen includes an astrological clock dating from the 16th century. The clock told not only the time,...

    Chartres Cathedral: The choir screen includes an astrological clock dating from the 16th century. The clock told not only the time, but also the day of the week, the month of the year, the time of sunrise and sunset, the phase of the moon and the current sign of the zodiac. The choir screen is decorated with 16th century sculptures, they depict scenes from the lives of the Christ and the Virgin Mary The inner works were partially destroyed in 1793.

  11. Chartres Cathedral - One of the fine features of Chartres Cathedral is the 13th century Chartres Labyrinth, inlaid in the nave floor. The labyrinth is 12.9...

    One of the fine features of Chartres Cathedral is the 13th century Chartres Labyrinth, inlaid in the nave floor. The labyrinth is 12.9 metres in diameter and fills the width of the nave. Pilgrims used to follow the mazy route on their knees, the labyrinth continues to receive visits from pilgrims to this day. Now, the Labyrinth is usually covered with chairs. The labyrinth is a feature of most medieval churches, but Chartres Labyrinth is the largest medieval maze in the world.

  12. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral:  The two spires of the cathedral are different, both in appearance and in height. The south tower is 105...

    Chartres Cathedral:  The two spires of the cathedral are different, both in appearance and in height. The south tower is 105 metres high, the Romanesque pyramid-shaped tower was built around 1140. The 113 mettres high north tower is a Flamboyant Gothic spire on the top of an older tower, it was built in the early 16th century.

  13. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: A chapel in the crypt, the crypt of Chartres Cathedral is the largest crypt in France. Chartres Cathedral...

    Chartres Cathedral: A chapel in the crypt, the crypt of Chartres Cathedral is the largest crypt in France. Chartres Cathedral was built following a fire that destroyed the previous church in 1194, only the western façade and the crypt survived and also Sancta Camisia, the most precious relic of the cathedral.

  14. Chartres Cathedral - A symbol of the Way of James (the Camino de Santiago) nearby Chartres Cathedral. Chartres Cathedral is situated in the...

    A symbol of the Way of James (the Camino de Santiago) nearby Chartres Cathedral. Chartres Cathedral is situated in the medieval town of Chartres. Chartres Cathedral is situated along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, also known as the Way of James. The Way of James is also an UNESCO World Heritage.

  15. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The rose window on the south façade depicts the Apocalypse, the prophets, the evangelists and the...

    Chartres Cathedral: The rose window on the south façade depicts the Apocalypse, the prophets, the evangelists and the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The restoration work on Chartres Cathedral have been carried out continuously since the 14th century. Important restorations were carried out in the 19th and 20 centuries. Since 1979, Chartres Cathedral is an UNESCO World Heritage.