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Part 3

The town of Chartres and it's remarkably well-preserved cathedral.


A visit to Chartres by train, a town about 100 kilometres from Paris.  Getting a ticket was easy, and the train left only 10 minutes after we arrived. This is the cathedral at Chartres, built in the 13th century.  It got a little less foggy later in the day.


The entrance to the cathedral.  It was very uncrowded, probably both because it's the low season and it was quite cold out. These figures are typically Romanesque (which is a pre-Gothic style) in that they are very elongated.  Contrast them to some of the Gothic figures you'll see in later pictures.  This part of the building, along with one of the towers, is the only part left over from the Romanesque cathedral that burned on June 10, 1194 (Eric's birthday!).


Christ on his throne, surrounded by winged animals.  Apparently there are more than 4000 sculptures on the outside of the building. Chartres is France's best preserved medieval cathedral--much of Notre Dame in Paris is renovated, but most of Chartres is original. A beggar outside the main entrance.  Her face looks like she's been through some hard times.


One of the features of the Chartres cathedral I was most eager to see was the maze on the floor.  This is what it would look like.  Pilgrims used to walk it on their knees as an act of penance.  Unfortunately, the maze was covered with chairs. Along with 4 other Americans, we took a guided tour from an English man who has written several books on Chartres.  Eric thought it was fine, but I thought he was somewhat curt and not open to questions.


Behind the cathedral is another maze cut into the lawn. Before walking around in the old medieval town of Chartres, we had lunch at a nice place very close to the cathedral.  Eric had some kind of veal sausage, and I had lamb.


Some of the old buildings get wider at the base. Eric found a cat!


This workbench is that of a bijoutier, or jewelry.  If you click on it to see the full image, you can see all the details. I loved walking around the old town.  It was very romantic and picturesque, with all kinds of interesting architectural details everywhere.


This is from the courtyard of the museum Eric and I behind the cathedral.  Notice how bundled up we were--it was cold!  Good thing we had lots of warm clothes with, including nylon windpants.  Not very chic, though.


Me on the maze Walking down from the cathedral to the old town.


You can see a close up of the half-timbered building below


Many of the walls were made of this very sharp type of stone. The ornamentation on these windows is great--click on the lower picture to see all the details.


This is the Collegiale Saint Andre, right next to the Eure river.  You can see the beginnings of an arch attached to the building.  Previously, the building spanned the river.


The other side of the same bridge.


There were many walkways that went down to the river.  Apparently it was because all the tanneries were there, and they had to wash out the hides in the river. This building was a creperie (where they make the pancake-like crepes).  Unfortuantely it wasn't open.  Next to it was a bakery where be bought some wonderful eclairs, though.
EricAndSylvia  |  Pictures  |  Paris  |  Part 3   <<< 1 2  All >>> © 2013 Eric Vasilik