An emblematic monument of the city of Chartres, in the Eure-et-Loir, Notre-Dame cathedral is still considered today as one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic cathedral in France. Built in the twelfth century, it is classified as a Historic Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dominating the town and the plain of Beauce, it is the fifth or sixth building built at this location following fires and other degradations. Converted into a temple of Reason during the French Revolution, it suffered a lot of damage during the Terror, seeing in particular the goldsmithery and the silverware of its treasure melt completely. A major renovation in the late 1980s allowed the Notre-Dame cathedral to recover its original interior polychromy.
Whoever saw the coronation of King Henry IV unveils the largest choir in France, with its 650 m², and the largest Romanesque crypt in the country too. On site, you can admire over 3500 statues, as well as nine carved portals, made unique throughout Europe. It is also impossible not to appreciate one of the largest rosettes in the world, with its 13.36 meters in diameter, its 9000 characters, or its 176 stained glass windows for a total stained glass area of 2600 m². The latter are considered to be the best preserved and most complete ensemble of the medieval period.
The Notre-Dame cathedral is mainly built in Morancez limestone and Beauce limestone. On the ground, a labyrinth inspired by the Cretan myth of Daedalus is a geometric figure of 12.89 meters in diameter. From the 12th century, it is accessible every Friday. The building also houses a precious relic, the veil of the Virgin. Sent from Byzantium by the emperor of the East to Charlemagne, it would be the veil carried by Mary during the Annunciation. Like Strasbourg, the Notre-Dame cathedral also unveils an astronomical clock restored in the late 2000s.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres has always been the subject of many pilgrimages throughout the year.