Probably best known for its spectacular Gothic cathedral - Cathedral Notre-Dame, (as in Paris), Chartres is popular with tourists as a day trip from the capital (1hr) and as a stopping off point on the way down to the Loire Valley (Val de Loire). As you head towards the town, the cathedral
looms on the horizon for many miles as if it standing solitude in
...but the reality is that it is in the
centre of the city hemmed in by the
buildings that have grown up around it. The
city offers a good mix of ancient and more
modern architecture with the river Eure
adding yet another dimension. There are good
shops plus you are spoilt for choice for
places to eat.
The city is
capital of the
department of Eure-et- Loir
and relies heavily on the attraction of its world renowned cathedral for its tourist industry, although the community are working hard to
offer a variety of other attractions from music festivals to the clever
night-time illumination of its streets and buildings. From
April to September, twenty or so of the city's most
beautiful buildings and sites are draped in light and music.
highlight is the colourful illumination of the cathedral. On the
last evening the celebrations comes to a close with the 'Festival of
Light' featuring illuminations of new sites, concerts and street
It is a pleasure to walk the streets of Chartres, whether it is by the river Eure, through its commercial centre or around its beautiful Cathedral.
We have only ever visited the city in winter
and imagine that it can only be enhanced by
the effect of the summer sun.
With 'Notre Dame' said to have the most complete set of original medieval stained glass windows of any cathedral in the world this craft is much celebrated here in Chartres. The city is home to the 'International Stained-Glass Centre' at 5 rue du Cardinal Pie (great name)
plus there is an interesting small gallery near the cathedral.
A good walk is to go down to the old gate
entrance to the town then head north for half a kilometre before
turning left to the steps leading to the cathedral.The city offers other attractions including the largest aquatic centre in France plus beautiful parks - you can visit this personal website
for great information on these and much much more, on Chartres.
Chartres official tourism website
Directions and time to Chartres
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