|Chartres, France Guide
La Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is France's best-preserved pure-Gothic cathedral, with the largest and finest collection of stained-glass windows in the land.
The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is beloved deeply by those who know it because of its harmonious pure Gothic architecture, its splendid stained-glass windows, and its medieval labyrinth (floor maze).
Plan Your Visit
Consider these things when planning your visit to Chartres:
—Market days are Wednesday and Saturday—it's always fun to visit a French town's markets.
—Many restaurants and shops are closed on Monday, which makes the town quieter, but the shopping and dining choices fewer.
—The cathedral's stupendous stained-glass windows are at their most brilliant on sunny days. To see them to best effect you may want to visit the cathedral several times during the day as the sun moves. Then there are the superb illumination displays of Chartres en lumières after dark.
—The town itself is charming and fun to visit, so you might want to consider an overnight visit. This would allow you to visit the cathedral at different times of day, visit the International Stained-Glass Center and other churches such as Saint-Aignan and Saint-Pierre, and explore the lovely old town and the river area. Between April and October, you can also enjoy the wonderful Chartres en Lumières light show. Chartres offers a variety of hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Several dozen restaurants provide sustinence: Turkish kebaps on the street from the gare, sidewalk cafés next to the cathedral, and traditional French cuisine scattered around the town center. More...