West Royal portal of Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres.

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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 1145 to 1155, its superb statues, whose features are elongated in the Romanesque style, represent the glory of Christ in the centre, and the Nativity and the Ascension to the right and left, respectively.

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Nearby Chartres attractions

1. Cathédrale Notre Dame

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One of Western civilisation’s crowning architectural achievements, the 130m-long Cathédrale Notre Dame de Chartres is renowned for its brilliant-blue…

2. Tour Nord

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Climbing 350 steps up to the 112m-high Tour Nord (aka Clocher Neuf; New Bell Tower) of the Cathédrale Notre Dame is well worth it. A 70m-high platform on…

3. Clocher Vieux

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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…

4. Cathédrale Notre Dame Crypt

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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…

5. Musée des Beaux-Arts

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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…

6. Centre International du Vitrail

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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…

7. Église St-Aignan

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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)…

8. Collégiale St-André

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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…