Chartres, city of lights, enjoys an international reputation thanks to its graceful cathedral, a Gothic jewel of the 12th and 13th centuries, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its stained glass windows are famous for their Chartres blue.
It is traditionally considered to be the most representative, complete and best preserved Gothic cathedral in France with its sculptures, stained-glass windows and paving, most of which are original, although it is built using the techniques of Romanesque architecture, thus showing the continuity and not the rupture between these two types of architecture.
The present cathedral, in the so-called "classical" Gothic style, was built at the beginning of the 13th century, for the most part in thirty years, on the ruins of a previous Romanesque cathedral, destroyed in a fire in 1194. A great place of pilgrimage, it overlooks the town of Chartres and the Beauce plain, revealing itself to the eye more than ten kilometres away.
Henri IV was the only king of France to be crowned in Chartres on 27 February 1594.
But the city of Chartres conceals many other points of interest. Stroll through its historic districts, along its picturesque pedestrian streets, go down to the banks of the Eure, meet its craftsmen and master glassmakers and discover its markets. Visit its museums and churches, all with remarkable stained glass windows.
A curiosity among all, the Maison Picassiette will know how to fill you with wonder. Coming from a modest background, Raymond Isidore settled in a small house in Chartres. During his walks, he gets into the habit of collecting pieces of glass and earthenware that he transforms into mosaics to embellish his house. Little by little, he covers the walls, inside and outside, as well as the furniture and floors. Only the size of his land limited his creativity.
At nightfall, from May to October, let yourself be fascinated and surprised by his spectacular "Chartres en lumières" trail. This trail is an invitation to plunge into a colourful musical fairy-tale world that will allow you to discover the must-see sites of Chartres in a different, atypical way.