"Not only is Chartres Cathedral one of the greatest achievements in the history of architecture, it is almost perfectly preserved in its original design and details. Chartres' extensive cycle of portal sculpture remains fully intact and its glowing stained-glass windows are all originals. Chartres is thus the only cathedral that coveys an almost perfect image of how it looked when it was built."
Cathedral of our Lady of Chartres in the city center of Chartres and is elegant from every angle. A lovely surprise to find this view from our hotel window. Built between 1194 and 1260 in the Gothic architectural design. It was saved from looting and destruction by townspeople, quite extraordinary considering the vast number of churches destroyed during the French Revolution.
The city was captured during WWII because of its proximity to Paris, only about 50 miles, the Nazis established a strategic command post within blocks of the Cathedral. This is credited to saving the oldest part of the city and where the Cathedral is located.
The majority of the interior has been beautifully restored.
That is really some Pipe Organ!
Below is a section of the Choir Screen that was being restored during our visit. The original plaster was gently cleaned and then a new "skin" was applied. This not only adds support but allows for the artisan to make repairs to the carving details.
And there is one now!
He told me it will take 7 years of cleaning, plastering, filing and smoothing the new plaster to restore the design to match the original carvings on just the Choir Screen.
The dark area on this column is the un-restored section. Before and after at one glance.
The stained-glass images are abstract and simple and appear after some contemplation.
And if you have, thanks for reading.