The Chartres Cathedral

Jessica J

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral is one of the most impressive cathedrals in Europe, located near Paris, France. Chartres Cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist. Christianity is the religion honored here. Chartres Cathedral is a very gothic temple, open for visitors to come and see it. Not only does it contain most of its original glass windows, but it has almost the exact same construction as when it was built.

Location of the Temple

Chartres Cathedral is located just fifty miles southwest from Paris, France, in a town known as Chartres. Chartres is a medieval town that many tourists come to visit year round. The actual cathedral is located at 16 Cloitre Notre-Dame Chartres, France. This temple stands on a hill, surrounded by fields of wheat. The Chartres Cathedral makes the town of Chartres well known. Chartres is a town full of museums, beautiful parks, and tourist attractions as well. This temple is also near many hotels for visitors to stay.
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History of Chartres Cathedral

Being a very historic temple, it has been around for many years. Chartres Cathedral is one of several french gothic masterpieces, that has a lot of history behind it. In the late 12th century and early 13th century, builders began construction work on this very gothic style cathedral. Many townspeople helped when building the temple. Some of the biggest threats to the cathedral were war and fire. In 1134 a fire destroyed the town of Chartres, and only some of the cathedral was left standing. Construction then started immediately after the fire to rebuild, and renovations were completed by 1155. In June of 1194, another fire destroyed almost all of the new cathedral. This new cathedral was slightly bigger and more complex. In 1260, King Louis decided that it was best to dedicate the cathedral to Christianity and leave it unfinished.

From there, the cathedral was struck by lightning in 1506, following more renovations that were done in 1323. The people of Chartres then worked on rebuilding and fixing the cathedral on and off until about 1836. The Chartres Cathedral has been housing Mary's tunic since about 876. The people of Chartres take pride in always fixing up the cathedral. Originally Chartres Cathedral was created as a place for people to come and worship. Even today people still come to worship at the temple. It was also first created as a place for early pilgrims to come and visit. Chartres Cathedral plays a role in Christianity because it contains what they believe is Mary's tunic.

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This is a picture of Mary's tunic. The tunic is a big part of this cathedral's sacredness.

Religion of Chartres Cathedral

As you know, Chartres Cathedral honors and dedicates Christianity. In this religion Christians worship one god, called father, that Jesus taught them. They believe Jesus was the son of God. The Virgin Mary was Jesus' mother. That's why she is very important to this religion. Without Mary there probably wouldn't be Christianity. Being dedicated to the Virgin Mary, this temple is sacred to many people of Christianity. Chartres Cathedral tells many stories through glass windows, sculptures, and more from Christianity. The Chartres Cathedral also contains an ancient symbol of religion, a Labyrinth. It is said that The Labyrinth is the path to Jerusalem.

What Role Chartres Cathedral Plays in Christianity

The Chartres Cathedral is very important to Christianity because it is the home to the Holy Relic of the Virgin Mary. This cathedral is dedicated to Christianity and the Virgin Mary. The Chartres Cathedral is sacred to many people because it tells so many stories. Not to mention, this temple shows much appreciation to the Virgin Mary, because she is important to the people of Christianity as the mother of Jesus. The Chartres Cathedral is a place that people can come and show appreciation to Mary, Jesus, and Christianity. That is why this cathedral is home to the Sancta Camisia, Mary's tunic. Mary's tunic contributes to the fact that Christians consider this cathedral very sacred.

Description of the Chartres Cathedral

Being one of the most impressive cathedrals in Europe, it attracts many tourists around the world every year. This temple has a very gothic architectural style, and contains most of its original construction, even though a lot has been destroyed. The Chartres Cathedral also contains most of its original stained glass windows. This is because throughout the life of this cathedral, many parts of it have been destroyed and other parts have survived. Originally there were 186 windows, and 152 have survived. Three large rose windows with different themes are a part of the cathedral as well. Throughout Chartres Cathedral, porches and doors contain very clear carvings, that express symbols of Christianity. For example, crosses, swords, and holy books are carved in several doors. Other sculptures in the West Facade area of the cathedral, tell stories of Mary and Jesus.


Chartres Cathedral is very tall with a height of 371 feet. Another important part of the temple is the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is a religious symbol that was used a lot in older Christianity. In this cathedral, the Labyrinth is 12.9 meters in diameter. The Labyrinth is located on the central floor for visitors to come and observe.

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This picture shows some of the very tall stained glass windows, that are part of this cathedral. They have a lot of really great detail.
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This is a bigger picture of the Labyrinth on the central floor. Tourists walk along it, and try to get through the maze.

Fun Facts

There are many interesting things about this gorgeous cathedral. For example, the Chartres Cathedral was built using a lot of geometry and precision. Also, a church has stood on the same site as the temple since the 8th century, even though there have been many additions and parts that have been rebuilt over time. The Chartres Cathedral has a lot of stories carved into its stone from the bible as well. Another interesting fact is that you might need binoculars to see all the detail in the top of the stained glass windows, because they are so tall.
Chartres Cathedral (UNESCO/NHK)

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