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Chartres Cathedral in late-May 2010
|Region||Centre-Val de Loire|
|Canton||Chartres-1, 2 and 3|
|• Mayor (2014-2020)||Jean-Pierre Gorges|
|16.85 km2 (6.51 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,300/km2 (5,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||121–161 m (397–528 ft) |
(avg. 142 m or 466 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Chartres (French pronunciation: [ʃaʁtʁ] ) is a commune and capital of the Eure-et-Loir department in France. It is located about 90 km (56 mi) southwest of Paris. Chartres is famous world-wide for its cathedral. Mostly constructed between 1193 and 1250, this Gothic cathedral is in an exceptional state of preservation. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century. Much of the old town, including the library associated with the School of Chartres, was destroyed by bombs in 1944.
Chartres was one of the principal towns in Gaul of the Carnutes, a Celtic tribe. In the Gallo-Roman period, it was called Autricum, name derived from the river Autura (Eure), and afterwards civitas Carnutum, "city of the Carnutes", from which Chartres got its name. The city was burned by the Normans in 858, and unsuccessfully besieged by them in 911.
During the Middle Ages, it was the most important town of the Beauce. It gave its name to a county which was held by the counts of Blois, and the counts of Champagne, and afterwards by the House of Châtillon, a member of which sold it to the Crown in 1286.
In 1417, during the Hundred Years' War, Chartres fell into the hands of the English, from whom it was recovered in 1432. In 1528, it was raised to the rank of a duchy by Francis I.
In 1568, during the Wars of Religion, Chartres was unsuccessfully besieged by the Huguenot leader, the Prince of Condé. It was finally taken by the royal troops of Henry IV on 19 April 1591. On Sunday, 27 February 1594, the cathedral of Chartres was the site of the coronation of Henry IV after he converted to the Catholic faith, the only king of France whose coronation ceremony was not performed in Reims.
In 1674, Louis XIV raised Chartres from a duchy to a duchy peerage in favor of his nephew, Duke Philippe II of Orléans. The title of Duke of Chartres was hereditary in the House of Orléans, and given to the eldest son of the Duke of Orléans.
In the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, Chartres was seized by the Germans on 2 October 1870, and continued during the rest of the war to be an important centre of operations.
In World War II, the city suffered heavy damage by bombing and during the battle of Chartres in August 1944, but its cathedral was spared by an American Army officer who challenged the order to destroy it.On 16 August 1944, Colonel Welborn Barton Griffith, Jr. questioned the necessity of destroying the cathedral and volunteered to go behind enemy lines to find out whether the Germans were using it as an observation post. With his driver, Griffith proceeded to the cathedral and, after searching it all the way up its bell tower, confirmed to Headquarters that it was empty of Germans. The order to destroy the cathedral was withdrawn.
Colonel Griffith was killed in action later on that day in the town of Lèves, 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) north of Chartres. For his heroic action both at Chartres and Lèves, Colonel Griffith received, posthumously, several decorations awarded by the President of the United States and the U.S. Military, and also from the French government.
Following deep reconnaissance missions in the region by the 3rd Cavalry Group and units of the 1139 Engineer Combat Group, and after heavy fighting in and around the city, Chartres was liberated, on 18 August 1944, by the U.S. 5th Infantry and 7th Armored Divisions belonging to the XX Corps of the U.S. Third Army commanded by General George S. Patton.
|Climate data for Chartres (1981–2010 averages)|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.4|
|Average low °C (°F)||1.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||−18.4|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||49.2|
|Average precipitation days||10.4||9.1||9.7||9.0||9.9||8.0||7.7||6.5||7.7||10.0||10.4||10.8||109.1|
|Average relative humidity (%)||89||85||80||75||77||76||74||75||79||86||89||90||81.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||65.7||83.7||135.8||176.1||202.9||222.6||224.5||219.6||177.8||119.2||71.9||58.2||1,758|
|Source 1: Météo France|
|Source 2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity, 1961–1990)|
Chartres is built on a hill on the left bank of the Eure River. Its renowned medieval cathedral is at the top of the hill, and its two spires are visible from miles away across the flat surrounding lands. To the southeast stretches the fertile plain of Beauce, the "granary of France", of which the town is the commercial centre.
Chartres is best known for its cathedral, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, which is considered one of the finest and best preserved Gothic cathedrals in France and in Europe. Its historical and cultural importance has been recognized by its inclusion on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
It was built on the site of the former Chartres cathedral of Romanesque architecture, which was destroyed by fire in 1194 (that former cathedral had been built on the ruins of an ancient Celtic temple, later replaced by a Roman temple). Begun in 1205, the construction of Notre-Dame de Chartres was completed 66 years later.
The stained glass windows of the cathedral were financed by guilds of merchants and craftsmen, and by wealthy noblemen, whose names appear at the bottom.
It is not known how the famous and unique blue, bleu de Chartres, of the glass was created, and it has been impossible to replicate it. The French author Michel Pastoureau, says that it could also be called bleu de Saint-Denis.
The Église Saint-Pierre de Chartres, was the church of the Benedictine Abbaye Saint-Père-en-Vallée , founded in the 7th century by queen Balthild. At time of its construction, the abbey was outside the walls of the city. It contains fine stained glass and, formerly, twelve representations of the apostles in enamel, created about 1547 by Léonard Limosin, which now can be seen in the Fine arts museum.
Other noteworthy churches of Chartres are Saint-Aignan (13th, 16th and 17th centuries), and Saint-Martin-au-Val (12th century), inside the Saint-Brice hospital.
The Eure River, which at this point divides into three branches, is crossed by several bridges, some of them ancient, and is fringed in places by remains of the old fortifications, of which the Porte Guillaume (14th century), a gateway flanked by towers, was the most complete specimen, until destroyed by the retreating German army in the night of 15 to 16 August 1944. The steep, narrow streets of the old town contrast with the wide, shady boulevards which encircle it and separate it from the suburbs. The "parc André-Gagnon" or "Clos St. Jean", a pleasant park, lies to the north-west, and squares and open spaces are numerous.
Part of the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) is a building of the 17th century called Hôtel de Montescot. The Maison Canoniale dating back to the 13th century, and several medieval and Renaissance houses, are of interest.
There is a statue of General Marceau (1769-1796), a native of Chartres and a general during the French Revolution.
La Maison Picassiette, a house decorated inside and out with mosaics of shards of broken china and pottery, is also worth a visit.
Chartres is one of the most important market towns in the region of Beauce (known as "the granary of France").
The game pies and other delicacies of Chartres are well known, and the industries also include flour-milling, brewing, distilling, iron-founding, leather manufacture, perfumes, dyeing, and the manufacture of electronic equipment, car accessories, stained glass, billiard requisites and hosiery.
Since 1976 fashion and perfumes company Puig has a production plant in this commune.
The Gare de Chartres railway station offers frequent services to Paris, and a few daily connections to Le Mans, Nogent-le-Rotrou and Courtalain. The A11 motorway connects Chartres with Paris and Le Mans.
Chartres is home to two semi-professional association football clubs; FC Chartres, who play in the French sixth division, and HB Chartres, who play in the seventh tier.
Chartres has a table tennis club which is playing in the Pro A (French First division) and in the European Champions League. The club won the ETTU Cup on the season 2010 – 2011 and it finished at the second position in the French First division.
Chartres has the second most important squash club in France.
There is also a handball club and it is playing in the French second division.
In November 2012, Chartres organized the European Short Course Swimming Championships.
The town is the seat of a diocese (bishopric), a prefecture, and a cour d'assises . It has a Tribunal de grande instance, a Tribunal d'instance, a Chamber of commerce and a branch of the Banque de France .
Public and religious schooling from kindergarten through high school and vocational schools is given in mixed (boys and girls) establishments. The two main high schools are the Lycée Jehan de Beauce and the Lycée Marceau, named after two important personages of the history of Chartres: Jehan de Beauce was a 16th-century architect who rebuilt the northern steeple of the cathedral after it had been destroyed by lightning in July 1506, and Marceau, a native of city, who was a general during the French Revolution of 1789.
Chartres has been a site of Catholic pilgrimages since the Middle Ages. The poet Charles Péguy (1873–1914) revived the pilgrimage route between Paris and Chartres before World War I. After the war, some students carried on the pilgrimage in his memory. Since 1982, the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté , 100 km (62 mi) pilgrimage on foot from Notre-Dame de Paris to Notre-Dame de Chartres. About 15,000 pilgrims, from France and countries outside France, participate every year.with offices in Versailles, organizes the annual
Notable bishops of Chartres:
Chartres was the birthplace of:
Chartres is twinned with:
Gothic architecture is an architectural style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. It originated in 12th-century northern France and England as a development of Norman architecture. Its popularity lasted into the 16th century, before which the style was known as opus Francigenum ; the term Gothic was first applied contemptuously during the later Renaissance, by those ambitious to revive the Grecian orders of architecture.
Notre-Dame de Paris, referred to simply as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Its pioneering use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colourful rose windows, as well as the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style. Major components that make Notre Dame stand out include its large historic organ and its immense church bells.
Chartres Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, is a Roman Catholic church in Chartres, France, about 80 km southwest of Paris and is the seat of the Bishop of Chartres. Mostly constructed between 1194 and 1220, it stands at the site of at least five cathedrals that have occupied the site since the Diocese of Chartres was formed as an episcopal see in the 4th century. It is in the High Gothic and Romanesque styles.
Eure-et-Loir is a French department, named after the Eure and Loir rivers.
Rose window is often used as a generic term applied to a circular window, but is especially used for those found in Gothic cathedrals and churches. The windows are divided into segments by stone mullions and tracery. The term rose window was not used before the 17th century and according to the Oxford English Dictionary, among other authorities, comes from the English flower name rose.
Verneuil-sur-Avre is a former commune in the Eure department in Normandy in northern France. On 1 January 2017, it was merged into the new commune Verneuil d'Avre et d'Iton.
Rouen Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Rouen, Normandy, France. It is the see of the Archbishop of Rouen, Primate of Normandy. The cathedral is in the Gothic architectural tradition.
The arrondissement of Chartres is an arrondissement of France in the Eure-et-Loir department in the Centre-Val de Loire region. It has 148 communes. Its population is 209,218 (2016), and its area is 2,129.5 km2 (822.2 sq mi).
Troyes Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church, dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, located in the town of Troyes in Champagne, France. It is the episcopal seat of the Bishop of Troyes. The cathedral, in the Gothic architectural style, has been a listed monument historique since 1862.
French Gothic architecture is an architectural style which emerged in France in 1140, and was dominant until the mid-16th century. The most notable examples are the great Gothic cathedrals of France, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, Reims Cathedral, Chartres Cathedral, and Amiens Cathedral. Its main characteristics were the search for verticality, or height, and the innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttresses and other architectural innovations to distribute the weight of the stone structures to supports on the outside, allowing unprecedented height and volume, The new techniques also permitted the addition of larger windows, including enormous stained glass windows, which filled the cathedrals with light. The French style was widely copied in other parts of northern Europe, particularly Germany and England. It was gradually supplanted as the dominant French style in the mid-16th century by French Renaissance architecture.
The Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame is the city of Strasbourg's museum for Upper Rhenish fine arts and decorative arts, dating from the early Middle Ages until 1681. The museum is famous for its collection of original sculptures, glass windows, architectural fragments, as well as the building plans of Strasbourg Cathedral. It has a considerable collection of works by Peter Hemmel von Andlau, Niclas Gerhaert van Leyden, Nikolaus Hagenauer, Ivo Strigel, Konrad Witz, Hans Baldung and Sebastian Stoskopff.
High Gothic is a particularly refined and imposing style of Gothic architecture that appeared in northern France from about 1195 until 1250. Notable examples include Chartres Cathedral, Reims Cathedral, Amiens Cathedral, Beauvais Cathedral, and Bourges Cathedral. It is characterized by great height, harmony, subtle and refined tracery and realistic sculpture, and by large stained glass windows, particularly rose windows and larger windows on the upper levels, which filled the interiors with light. It followed Early Gothic architecture and was succeeded by the Rayonnant style. It is often described as the high point of the Gothic style.
Welborn Barton Griffith, Jr. was an American officer who served during World War II in the United States Army. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in the Class of 1925.
The Chartres pilgrimage, also known in French as the pèlerinage de Chrétienté, is an annual pilgrimage from Notre-Dame de Paris to Notre-Dame de Chartres occurring around the Christian feast of Pentecost, organized by Notre-Dame de Chrétienté, a Catholic lay non-profit organization based in Versailles, France. Although the pilgrimage has existed since 1983, the organisation was not founded until 2000.
Charles Jean Baptiste Claude Lorin is a French glass painter and manufacturer, born on 16 October 1866 in Chartres, capital of the Eure-et-Loir department, and died in the same city on 23 April 1940.
Jehan (Jean) Texier or Le Texier, better known as Jehan (Jean) de Beauce was a 15th/16th-century French architect. He is known for his works of religious architecture, notably on the Chartres cathedral of which he reconstructed the northern spire.
Gothic cathedrals and churches are religious buildings created in Europe between the mid-12th century and the beginning of the 16th century. The cathedrals are notable particularly for their great height, and their extensive use of stained glass to fill the interiors with light. They were the tallest and largest buildings of their time, and the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture. The appearance of the Gothic Cathedral was not only a revolution in architecture; it also introduced new forms in decoration, sculpture, and art.
The stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral are held to be one of the best-preserved and most complete set of medieval stained glass, notably celebrated for their colours, especially their cobalt blue. They cover 2600 square metres in total and consist of 172 bays illustrating biblical scenes, the lives of the saints and scenes from the life of trade guilds of the period.
The construction of cathedrals in the Gothic style was the most ambitious, expensive, and technically demanding building work of the Late Middle Ages. Cathedrals, the mother churches of bishops' dioceses and built at their episcopal sees, were built in the architectural style of Gothic architecture throughout Western Christianity from the late 11th century until the Renaissance, particularly in Western Europe and the Crusader States.
French Gothic stained glass windows were an important feature of French Gothic architecture, particularly cathedrals and churches built between the 12th century and 16th century. While stained glass had been used in French churches in the Romanesque period, the Gothic windows were much larger, eventually filling entire walls. They were particularly important in the High Gothic cathedrals, most famously in Chartres Cathedral. Their function was to fill the interior with a mystical colored light, representing the Holy Spirit, and also to illustrate the stories of the Bible for the large majority of the congregation who could not read.
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