Attractions

Top Choice Cathedral in Chartres

Cathédrale Notre Dame

One of Western civilisation’s crowning architectural achievements, the 130m-long Cathédrale Notre Dame de Chartres is renowned for its brilliant-blue stained-glass windows and sacred holy veil. Built in the Gothic s…
Tower in Chartres

Clocher Neuf

A visit to the 112m-high Clocher Neuf (aka Tour Nord; North Tower) of the Cathédrale Notre Dame is worth the ticket price and the climb up the long spiral stairway (350 steps). Access is just behind the cathedral sh…
Architecture in Chartres

Portail Royal

The west, north and south entrances of the Cathédrale Notre Dame have superbly ornamented triple portals, but the west entrance, known as the Portail Royal, is the only one that predates the 1194 fire. Carved from 1…
Church in Chartres

Église St-Pierre

Flying buttresses hold up the 12th- and 13th-century Église St-Pierre. Once part of a Benedictine monastery founded in the 7th century, it was outside the city walls and thus vulnerable to attack; the fortress-like,…
Architecture in Chartres

Cathédrale Notre Dame Crypt

The 100m crypt of Cathédrale Notre Dame, a tombless Romanesque structure built in 1024 around a 9th-century predecessor, is the largest in France. Tours in French (with a written English translation) lasting 30 minu…
Museum in Chartres

Musée des Beaux-Arts

Chartres’ fine-arts museum, accessed via the gate next to Cathédrale Notre Dame’s north portal, is in the former Palais Épiscopal (Bishop’s Palace), built in the 17th and 18th centuries. Its collections include 16th…
Architecture in Chartres

Clocher Vieux

Along with the the Portail Royal, the main Romanesque feature of the Cathédrale Notre Dame is the 105m-high Clocher Vieux (also called the Tour Sud or South Tower). Construction began in the 1140s; it remains the ta…
Church in Chartres

Église St-Aignan

Église St-Aignan is interesting for its wooden barrel-vault roof (1625), arcaded nave and painted interior of faded blue and gold floral motifs (c 1870). The stained glass and the Renaissance Chapelle de St-Michel d…
Museum in Chartres

Centre International du Vitrail

After viewing the stained glass in Chartres’ cathedral, nip into the town’s International Stained-Glass Centre, in a half-timbered former granary, to see superb examples close up.
Architecture in Chartres

Collégiale St-André

From rue Cardinal Pie, the stairways Tertre St-Nicolas and rue Chantault – the latter lined with medieval houses (number 29 is the oldest house in Chartres) – lead down to the empty shell of the 12th-century Collég…