the small rue leading to the Great Cathedral doors.
source of photo above, Chartres – Facebook
Pilgrimage churches continued in popularity in the Gothic period (1100-1400). In France, one of the most important of these churches was Notre Dame de Chartres known today simply as Chartres Cathedral. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the church housed a sacred relic: a piece of the Virgin’s tunic. Ravaged by fire on two occasions, the relic miraculously survived and thus Chartres became a very popular pilgrimage destination in the Gothic period.
Now, the Gothic architectural style is markedly different than the Romanesque (though both prefer stone). In the Gothic, everything was all about height – taller, taller, taller. These churches reached towards the heavens and cities in France competed for the honor of having the tallest structure. In order to create these tall structures, some modifications had to be made. First, the Gothic got rid of the rounded arches utilized in the Romanesque and instead pointed arches were used because they could better direct the weight to the ground and thereby allowed for greater height. Also, the Gothic period is characterized by flying buttresses and ribbed groin vaults (which will be discussed in a second). All three of these things (pointed arches, flying buttresses, and ribbed groin vaults) allowed for taller structures and also increased wall space devoted to windows, particularly stained glass.
Looking at the facade of Chartres Cathedral, you’ll notice that is dominated by a large circular window, or a rose window. Also, two soaring towers reach towards the heavens – and yes, I know they are strikingly different from one another. That is because they were built at different times. Please continue the journey of Chartres through the link attached. Not only does it provide a wonderful history of the cathedral, there are also detailed “you tubes” depicting every aspect of Historical Chartres. … enjoy.
The North Porch – the sculpure narrates the history of humanity from the creation of the coming of Christ and its continued in the South Porch.
The figures of St. Paul, St. John, St. James the Greater, St. James, the Minor and St. Bartholomew.
Royal Portal -
From the North Porch looking over the town
Chartres Cathedral At Night
The last Rose Stain Glass window
The side Aisle inside Cartres
Looking towards the High Altar -restoration work