Our Lady of Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral, also known as Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres (French: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres), is a medieval Catholic cathedral of the Latin Church located in Chartres, France, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) southwest of Paris.

It is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The current cathedral, mostly constructed between 1194 and 1250, is the last of at least five which have occupied the site since the town became a bishopric in the 4th century. See other Catholic sites in France.

Coming to Chartres and having the best stay:

Here is a recommendation for you: A well written study of Gothic architecture, and Chartres Cathedral in particular, looking at the theological and philosophical ideas on which it was founded Universe of Stone A Biography of the Chartres Catedral.

Chartres Cathedral – Mass times

  • on Friday:  7:00 am– crypt of Notre Dame de Sous-Terre
  • on Tuesday and Friday: 9:00
  • from Monday to Saturday midday: 11:45
  • Mass at the crypt – 6:15 p.m.
  • Vesper7:00 p.m.

Mass times Sundays 

  • on Saturday:  6:00 p.m.
  • on Sunday:
    • 9:15
    • Gregorian Mass – 11:00
    • High Mass of All Saints until Palm Sunday: 5:15 pm
    • Vespers – 6:00 pm
    • Mass Easter until the Sunday before All Saints: 5:45 pm
    • Vespers – 6:30 pm

Guides and tours in Chartres:

The Chartres 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.

The building’s exterior is dominated by heavy flying buttresses which allowed the architects to increase the window size significantly, while the west end is dominated by two contrasting spires – a 105-metre (349 ft) plain pyramid completed around 1160 and a 113-metre (377 ft) early 16th-century Flamboyant spire on top of an older tower.

Equally notable are the three great façades, each adorned with hundreds of sculpted figures illustrating key theological themes and narratives. See Top 15 Catholic shrines around the world.

Since at least the 12th century the Chartres Cathedral has been an important destination for travellers – and remains so to this day, attracting large numbers of Christian pilgrims, many of whom come to venerate its famous relic, the Sancta Camisa, said to be the tunic worn by the Virgin Mary at Christ’s birth, as well as large numbers of secular tourists who come to admire the Chartres Cathedral architecture and historical merit.

Besides being one of the most magnificent Catholic cathedrals in the world, the Chartres Cathedral holds one of the greatest treasures. The Sancta Camisia, the Holy Veil of the Blessed Immaculate heart of Mary Mother, believed to be the same veil Mary wore when she gave birth to Christ, is now kept in a golden reliquary inside the cathedral.

Unfortunately, as of December 2010, the Holy Veil is no longer available for public display.

View hotel deals in Chartres:

Booking.com

The Chartres Cathedral, Marian pilgrimage shrine, a masterpiece of religious art of the XII and XIII centuries, known worldwide for its 176 stained glass windows and 9 carved portals, first cathedral of France inscribed on the World Heritage List (1979) by UNESCO. One of the most beautiful cathedral in France.

Besides being one of the most magnificent Catholic cathedrals in the world, the Chartres Cathedral holds one of the greatest treasures. The Sancta Camisia, the Holy Veil of the Blessed Mother, believed to be the same veil Mary wore when she gave birth to Christ, is now kept in a golden reliquary inside the cathedral.

Unfortunately, as of December 2010, the Holy Veil is no longer available for public display.

Audioguides

Designed for individual visits, the audio guides offer are guided system recorded in multiple languages with headphones. They allow you to freely and with your own pace visit the cathedral and in complete autonomy: you can browse the monument by choosing your comments in 6 languages.

The guided tour of the Cathedral offers a historical overview of the monument in 20 steps: architecture, gates, windows, relic, labyrinth …

Duration: 45 minutes: check the circuit “cathedral”

The guided tour of the Tower of the choir, allows you to discover 40 stages, the various scenes from the life of Mary and Jesus, sculpted by famous artists of the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.

Duration: 25 minutes check the circuit “choir fence”
The assembly of these two circuits (duration 70 minutes)

You can rent the audio guides to the shop located in the north tower, at the entrance of the cathedral, left entering through the royal gate. Renting is not possible on 1 January and 25 December.

  • on Friday:  7:00 am– crypt of Notre Dame de Sous-Terre
  • on Tuesday and Friday: 9:00
  • from Monday to Saturday midday: 11:45
  • Mass at the crypt – 6:15 p.m.
  • Vesper7:00 p.m.

HOURS MASSES SUNDAY

  • on Saturday:  6:00 p.m.
  • on Sunday:
    • 9:15
    • Gregorian Mass – 11:00
    • High Mass of All Saints until Palm Sunday: 5:15 pm
    • Vespers – 6:00 pm
    • Mass Easter until the Sunday before All Saints: 5:45 pm
    • Vespers – 6:30 pm

From the fourteenth century until today, history and composition of the great organ of Chartres Cathedral: Jehan de Chateaudun, Jehan de Beauce, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, John Abbey, Joseph Guttschenritter Peter Firmin Didot, home-Gonzalez Danion … all those organ builders, organists or patrons intervened over the centuries in the life of this instrument.

Posted in Europe, France and Top Shrines