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 veil 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. Chartres 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 dates from 1224-1250 and shows scenes of the New Testament. The 13th century north portal shows...

Chartres Cathedral: The south portal dates from 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 dates from 1224-1250 and shows scenes of the New Testament. The 13th century north portal shows...

    Chartres Cathedral: The south portal dates from 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: South portal, left bay. Chartres Cathedrals has nine portals. The west portals, also called the Royal Portals, are...

    Chartres Cathedral: South portal, 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

    Euclid, Aristotle and Pythagoras. Chartres Cathedral is an UNESCO World Heritage.

  3. Chartres Cathedral - Chartres Cathedral: The south portal is adorned with gargoyles. Chartres Cathedral has nine elaborate sculpted gates with more than...

    Chartres Cathedral: The south portal is adorned with gargoyles.

    Chartres Cathedral has nine elaborate sculpted gates with more than 4000 fine sculpted

    statues. The 12th and 13th centuries statues of Chartres Cathedral are unique in France.

    Chartres Cathedral gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

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

    Chartres Cathedral: The south portal is adorned with the statues of the twelve apostles.

    The cathedral was not damaged during the Wars of Religion and the French Revolution.

    During WWI and WWII the stained glass windows of the cathedral were removed and

    after the wars replaced. 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....

    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. 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 famous for its stained glass windows. The deep intense blue colour, known as 'Chartres Blue', is immortalized...

    Chartres Cathedral is famous for its stained glass windows. The deep intense blue colour,

    known as 'Chartres Blue', 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 relics of the cathedral is the Sancta Camisia, the tunic of the Virgin Mary. The cathedral...

    Chartres Cathedral: The most precious relics of the cathedral is the Sancta Camisia, the tunic

    of the Virgin Mary. The cathedral houses the Sancta Camisia since 876, the relic was given to

    Chartres Cathedral  by Charlemagne. The relic 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: Notre Dame de Pilar is also called the Black Madonna of Chartres. The present Chartres Cathedral was built...

    Chartres Cathedral: Notre Dame de Pilar is also called the Black Madonna of Chartres.

    The present Chartres Cathedral was built after a in 1194. The rebuilding started almost

    immediately. Chartres Cathedral was consecrated in 1260. Chartres Cathedral is seen

    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...

    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...

    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, month of the year,

    the time of sunrise and sunset, the phase of the moon and the current sign of the zodiac.

    The inner works were partially destroyed in 1793. The choir screen is decorated with 16th

    century sculptures, they show scenes of the lives from Christ and the Virgin Mary.

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

    One of the fine features of Chartres Cathedral is the 13th century Chartres Labyrinth, inlaid

    in the nave floor. The labyrinth fills the width of the nave, it is 12.9 in diameter. Pilgrims used

    to follow the mazy route on the knees, the labyrinth continues to receive visits from pilgrims

    to this day. Now, Chartres 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 Chartres Cathedral are different, both in height and in appearance. The south...

    Chartres Cathedral:  The two spires of the Chartres Cathedral are different, both in height

    and in appearance. The south tower (105 meter high) is a Romanesque pyramid and was

    built around 1140. The north tower (113 meter high) is an 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...

    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 (Camino de Santiago) nearby Chartres Cathedral. Chartres Cathedral is situated in the...

    A symbol of the Way of James (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 south façade depicts the Apocalypse, the prophets, the evangelists and the...

    Chartres Cathedral: The rose window on 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. Chartres Cathedral is an UNESCO World Heritage.