Chartres - the flowering of the Gothic
Visiting the cathedral and its city
Chartres cathedral is one of the greatest Gothic churches of France - a truly splendid work of architecture. It has a marvellous set of early stained glass windows, too, and finely carved porches. We'll show you the stories behind the cathedral - the guilds members shown at their work in the stained glass, the biblical stories of the carvings, even the coats of arms of the patrons who funded the glorious rose windows - two deadly rivals. And we'll show you some of the other mysteries of the cathedral - the labyrinth laid out in the floor of the nave, a Black Virgin and a Zodiac disc.
Next our Podtour™will take you round the city, exploring the steep streets below the cathedral down to the river Eure. Fine half timbered houses show the wealth of the medieval townspeople, while the tithe barn where the canons of the cathedral stored the laymen's taxes is still standing. And from the terrace at the east of the cathedral, you can look out to the expansive cornfields of the Beauce and see where all that wealth came from.
Start at the west end of the cathedral and we'll guide you on from there.
Other French cathedral Podtours include:
- Amiens - one of the finest Gothic cathedrals
- Reims, coronation cathedral of the French kings
- Bourges, the most visionary of all the great Gothic churches
- Laon, probably the earliest Gothic cathedral in France
- The Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame, Paris
- Beauvais, the highest of all
Picture credit: Roby