Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chartre Cathedral

Chartre is a short drive from Carrieres-sur-Seine, unless you miss your turn because you are in a tunnel where the GPS does not work.  The problems with modern technology and only have a map of Europe, not France, so none of the smaller roads appear.  Well, we did make it and it didn't take too awfully much longer.

A beautiful Rose window.
They all tell a story, it's just that we didn't know them.
Chartre Cathedral is a place which should be visited only when the sun is shining.  This building contains some of the oldest and most beautiful stained glass in France, maybe Europe, maybe the World.  It definitely shows better with sun shining through. 

Some of the windows are very long, this is the top.....

and this is the bottom.
The center of the main aisle has a labyrinth.  By slowly walking the entire maze, one becomes more relaxed and able to hear God.  There is also the speed walking method used if you are on a tour who leaves in 10 minutes, or are under the age of 15.

Speed demon?

Walking the Labyrinth.
The Cathedral is in the midst of renovations, cleaning and painting.  It will take 5 years, by their estimates.  So far, only the far naive and one small chapel are completed.  When the entire church is finally done, it will truely be amazing.
The stone is being cleaned and repainted.  It is so much brighter and more beautiful.
Through out France, the cathedrals are rather worn looking.  If you peer closely you can just make out the remains of paint in odd spots.  The Cathedral in Albi is the only one we've seen that has maintained the original painting.  It is very encouraging to find Chartre is going to be restored with paint, not just cleaned stone.  I think the original builders would be pleased.

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