Chartres is a village which shows us how the medieval times were. It is located 96 km southwest of Paris, with the population 42,059.
To get to the village, take the train bound for either Chartres or Breast at Gare Monparnasse in Paris, and get off the train at Chartres. It takes about one hour and costs 20 euros for the round trip. The train goes through the suburbs of Paris, and you can catch sight of the Versailles Palace at a small town called Chantiers. Chantiers means workers or labors in French, and that tells you the town used to be a place where the workers in charge of building the palace formed a community.
Chartres Cathedral is one of the greatest buildings in France. It is well-known for its unique medieval architecture which has links with both Romanesque and Gothic styles. It is also registers on the World Heritage list. Behind the cathedral is an observatory, where you can overlook the panorama of the town. When you enter the building, you will see the splendid architecture and sculptures, but don’t miss the oldest stained glass in France called Chartres Blue. It is very beautiful. Another sacred item we can see inside the building is the cloth which is believed to have been worn by Maria when she gave birth to Christ. There are always pilgrims coming here from all over the world.
Open 8：00~19：30 all year around
tel: 02 37 18 26 26。
Chartres Blue It is said to be the oldest in France. 172 pieces of glass are used.
The sacred cloth worn by Maria.
These are exterior decorations. The whole building is filled with art, and it is said to be the best art in the 12th and 13th century. In those days, a cathedral is the symbol of bishop’s power and the central place where the medieval people got together to show their faith to the god. The construction of Chartres Cathedral started in 1144 and ended in 1260. All these art works are well settled in the space with 130.2 m in depth and 37.50 high.
Behind the cathedral is a miniature of the medieval village. There is a tourist route running through the town. It is very quiet, so you may think you have time-traveled.
This is a restaurant I visited, La vielle Maison. It is just next to the cathedral. You take a small street on the right side of the cathedral. As the name shows, La vielle Maison ( the Old House) has a very intimate atmosphere and serves you delicious dishes. I ate melon soup, salmon and chicken with basilic sauce. I arrived the town before noon, so I could find a seat easily, but there were many people coming into this restaurant. Some even couldn’t get in and left.
Tourist Information Office
Find a city map here.