28 Rue du Grand Faubourg, Chartres, 28000, France
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stained glass window charms
Do you still sell miniature stained glass window charms? My parents bought one for me at the Chartres Cathedral gift shop in 1967 and I have lost it and would like to purchase another. Is there a way for me to do this?
Re: stained glass window charms
Hello. There are a couple possibilities for you. You could contact the Chartres web site at http://www.chartres-tourisme.com/pages/en/index.php and check their links.
Another possibility is the Gallery of Stained Glass in Chartres at http://www.galerie-du-vitrail.com/english/index.php
If they don't have what you want, you could contact them and ask if they would know someone who can help you or if they would make something to your order.
I've visited the Cathedral gift shop several times and not seen what you mentioned but it is usually quite crowded and so I look and leave and don't pay a lot of attention. I'm sure some local artist still makes them since Chartres is such a world center for stained glass.
Travel Tips for Chartres
Stained Glass (and Glass Origins)
Glass is an amorphous noncrstalline solid and has great plasticity which increases with temperature. Working sand (a silicon dioxide source) into glass undoubtedly was discovered (invented) around primitive kilns or hot fireplaces (about 3000BC). The Romans developed the manufacture of glass and their artefacts include many glass containers, some of them colored.(Probably again accidentally discovered, the result of metal contaminants around the kilns, later by trial and error). Glass technology (like sculpture) disappeared around 500AD and was reintroduced from the Orient about 750. Strong plate glass was much later. At first (and still used) thin plates of alabaster admitted light through narrow windows. The Venetians perfected crystal glass in the 15C.
At Chartres the thechnics of making stained glass windows became a major art form. It had already been used sparingly in Augsburg where two small windows of early 12C exist in place (which we have not visited) and more extensively by Abbot Suger in St. Denis (1140-45).(It is probable that these craftsmen went on to Chartres).
The small pieces of colored glass are held together by lead strips and mounted in an iron frame which provides support, wind resistance and part of the design, extending that of the stone tracery in which they are set. Stained glass as windows, lamp shades and decoration continue to this day with artists like Lafarge and Tiffany, or Chagall and Matisse in Nice and Vence (The Rosary Chapel). The Glass serves the religious purposes of the Cahtedrals but is not confined to the Bible. The Rose windows have a mixture of religious symbolisms, and some windows emphasize the meaning and regularity of life as the Zodiac and in the Labors of the Months. The Hundreds of Stained Glass Windows.
The Assumption Statue
This stunning statue sits in the apse below, of course another series of stained glass windows. It's called "The Assumption". I can't find any information as to who sculpted this masterpiece, but do take a look at it.
Chartres is definitely a cathedral dedicated to Mary. There are no less than 175 representations of the Virgin in the cathedral and with the precense of the Black Madonna and the " Virgin's Chemise ", called today the " Veil of the Virgin ", Chartres has been the center of pilgrimages to honor the Virgin. The Chemise is a piece of silk five metres in length. According to a recent expert evaluation (1927), the fabric could well date from the first century after Christ. The sovereign's of Constantinople had given it to the Western Emperor at the beginning of the 9th century. Around 876 Charles the Bald, grandson of Charlemagne, offered the precious relic to the cathedral, that he had withdrawn from the treasury of Aix-la-Chapelle.
Other ancient churches
As we walked back from Maison Picassiette we passed at least two other churches in Chartres that were from the 12th and 13th Centuries. This one is the Abbey Church of St. Pierre. As this was a day trip we did not have time to explore them, but put them on the agenda for our next trip to Chartres. I probably would have known about these if I had done adequate research, but I seldom do. Besides, it once again affirms my Yogi Berra rule of travel: "You can see a lot by observing." Main attractions like the cathedral should not be missed, but there are frequently lesser known places and sights of interest and it feels like you have gotten a bonus when you discover them.
Beneath the foundations of this gothic Cathedral, which has been constructed several times and burned down twice, still remains a grotto to the Virgin Mary.
The Cathedral which stands today was begun in 1163, but not completely finished till around 1345.
It has fantastic, huge rose windows which were made around 1220, and are almost 33 feet in diameter.
These rose windows are where the colour "Chartres blue" gets its name.
Malcolm Miller's Cathedral Tours
I'm not the biggest fan of guided tours, but every now and then you stumble across one that changes your mind. If you go to Chartres to see the Cathedral, you must take a tour led by Englishman Malcolm Miller.
After writing his college thesis on Chartres Cathedral and living in Chartres for a year, Miller was authorized by the Catholic Church to begin lecturing at the Cathedral in 1958. That's right, he's been there for forty-six years! Miller has since earned an international reputation as a scholar and was knighted in the Order of Arts and Letters. He lectures all over the world and made six documentaries for British television on medieval stained glass. This man is THE authority on Chartres Cathedral and he knows every nook and cranny of the building.
Miller has a dry sense of humor which he incorporates into his tours. The hour we spent with him went by very quickly and was totally fascinating. I honestly wouldn't have gotten nearly as much out of my trip to Chartres without hearing his speak about the Cathedral.
Miller's tours start at 12:00pm and 2:45pm. They cost 10 euro per person.
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