13 place de la Cathedrale, Chartres, 28000, France
More about Chartres
Mucha Projections on Chartres' Post Office
Glamorous Wife Changing Son's Diaper in Chartres!
The fine arts museum
L'Enclos de Loen
Train to Europcar
We are arriving on a Saturday in July with 3 kids at the train station. We need to pick up our rental at the Europcar depot (address says 9 rue du marchal leclerc, chartres luisant downtown). Can we walk it? How far is it?
Any help would be appreciated!
RE: Train to Europcar
I have not been to Chartres - my film has but I haven't (long story) - but go to www.viamichelin.com and do the following:
1. Choose "Driving Directions"
2. Enter "Place Pierre Semard" as the starting point.
3. Enter "9 Rue du Maréchal Leclerc" (note the spelling, I assume that this is what you meant).
4. Choose the "on foot" option (if you can't see it, look at Options).
5. Of course, choose "France" as the country and "Chartres" as the city.
The result is that you will see the route on foot - about a kilometer. Depending on the age of the kids and the amount of luggage, you may want to send the official spousal unit or whomever on ahead to pick up the car and drive it back to the station...
RE: RE: Train to Europcar
Thank you! The kids are 15, 13 and 5 so a kilometre should be just fine. I never realized there was an "on foot" category on the via michelin site. I feel better already!
Travel Tips for Chartres
Some of these windows actually dates back into the 12th century. There is the Blue Virgin, and also if you check in the side aisles and the ambulatory, some windows have been given during the 13th century by craftmen corporations, merchants etc..
When you go, please try to look under or at the bottom of the windows, and you will see the signatures of either the donors of these windows or that of the craftmen. These signature inform tourist about crafts, tools and costumes in the middle ages.
The West Facade
As you can see the sides of this facade do not match as there are two completely different spires rising up from it's corners.
In this west facade is the West Rose Window (1215) with Christ seated inthe center shows the Last Judgment. .
Hang Out Around the rue du Cygne
This relatively wide walking street meets at a left angle the Pl. Monceau creating an open space only a few blocks from the Cathedral. It was also a short distance to our hotel and since there were several eateries here, it was the best place to come for relxation and food.There is a severe monument on a planted flower platform in the Place to (I feel sure) Monceau, a 27 yr. old Chartrain general killed in battle in 1796. His funeral urn is under the statue I described in the weirdly named Pl. des Epars.(I wish I knew the whole story). Several mornings a week a flower market occurs here, hence the stalls that we picture. There are several eateries within a few yards. When we were here, many years ago, we had a ten yr. old grandson in tow for his first trip to France and his diet consisted of "steack et frites et salade verte", ideal for a brasserie which it then was. Today it is a Pizzeria which would have suited him even better.(See Roma Nostra Tip).
This is one of the largest cathedrals in France. There is evidence that it has existed back as far as the sixth century. However due to battles and fires, the building now standing dates back the 12th century. It is home to the Sancta Camisia which was brought back to France from the Holy land by Charlemagne. It's a holy relic, a length of silk dating from 2000 years ago which is supposed to be the garment Mary was wearing when she gave birth to Jesus. So many pilgrims came to see this relic that they had to have a large cathedral to contain them all. It is said that when the Viking Rollon who had been ransacking France saw the Sancta Camisia, he immediately made peace and converted to Christianity.
The cathedral was built with funds contributed by many of the influential nobles and trade guilds of Europe at the time of it's last disaster. The relic survived, so they took the fire as a sign that they should build the cathedral even larger. Amazingly, it was built in less than 30 years.
The cathedral is huge, and the amount of detail is absolutely incredible! There are nearly 200 stained glass windows, with about 3000 square meters of stained glass. These are being restored at the moment. The ones that have been completed are amazing! What's more each window tells a story. For example, the lancelets next to the west rose from right to left tell the stories of the lineage of Christ, the life of Christ and the death of Christ. Then, there are the statues. There are over 4,000 of them all told. These too are being renovated, and they have actually uncovered some of the original paint on them. Most of the statues on the north and south porches and the royal portal are sculptures of saints, while the ambulatory features story lines.
It also has other interesting features, such as the labarynth pattern on the floor of the church which is supposed to be an exact replica of the maze of the minotaur from Crete. Noone knows now what it's religious significance is. You can also visit the bell towers and the crypts.
The Black Madonna
This is one of Chatres famous religious statues, the 'Black Madonna and child'.
One thing I especially liked about Chatres Cathedral is that it is so very dark and dimly lit inside, suitably sombre, and also its sheer size means that even if there are tour groups or crowds of people inside, one can still find a quiet spot for reflection or contemplation, such as by this statue.
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