Nine magnificent sculpted portals, consisting of 4,000 carved figures, decorate the different facades. 176 stained glass windows, representing some 5,000 characters in exceptional condition, adorn the cathedral’s 2,600 m² and let in light reflections of a singular blue color, called Chartres blue, that recalls the divine light.
Cathédrale de Chartres
16 cloître Notre-Dame, 28000 Chartres
Website - tel : 02 37 21 59 08
Free access. Audio guides available for rent.
Open daily: 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ;
Evenings in July and August: Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays until 10 p.m.
The sculptures and especially the windows of the cathedral were a true example of religious artistic expression of the time. They recount episodes from the Bible or the life of Mary, they are a major testimony of medieval spiritual expression and of daily life at the time. The Cathedral possesses many other treasures, starting with its crypts: the Romanesque crypt from the 11th century is the largest in France, and the other sits below the even more ancient cathedral. And if this cathedral became a major pilgrimage site, it is because of the relic said to have belonged to Mary, "the Veil of the Virgin," that the building guards within its walls.
The main dimensions of the Cathedral:
• Height of the vault: about 37 meters
• Length: 130 meters
Organized Tours of Cathedral in English
Available in 6 languages.
Guided tour of the Cathedral in English (1 hour, 30 minutes)
April through October: 12 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Ticket purchase, tour departure and audio guide rental are all available at the shop located at the entrance of the cathedral, to the left of the Royal Portal.