"Beyond Paris: A Day at Chartres Cathedral"
This summer, I made a long overdue pilgrimage back to la Cathédrale de Chartres - Chartres Cathedral. It had been nearly 25 years since my last visit during my graduate school days in Paris. I wanted to refresh my memory of this crown jewel of gothic art and architecture and also to get in a tour with Malcolm Miller, the famous Englishman who has made Chartres his life's work. I succeeded on both counts, although I must say I now regret not having been to this sacred gem more often over the years.
Located about 50 miles southwest of Paris, the charming town of Chartres (pronouned 'shartr(uh)') makes a great day trip from the French capital. Local trains run approximately every hour from the Gare Montparnasse in the 14th arrondissement. The easy journey takes about an hour and costs around 23 euros round trip. The church is a 5 to 10 minute walk from the station.
In a country that abounds with gorgeous gothic churches and cathedrals - Notre Dame de Paris, St. Denis, Reims, Amiens, Bourges, Rouen, to name a few - what is it that makes Chartres so special?
(Please note that this software program does not support all accents for French words - check the article at www.elizabethnew.com for the true French spellings!)