France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Église Saint-Aignan, Chartres, France
Although best known for its cathedral, Chartres has several other historic and interesting churches.

Stained glass, Saint-Aignan, Chartres
Watch out Jonah! That whale
has some big teeth! In
Église Saint-Aignan


 

 

 

There has been a church on the site of Saint-Aignan since the year 400. Located less than half a kilometer/a third of a mile from the cathedral (map), you can reach it in 7 or 8 minutes on foot.

Over the centuries Saint-Aignan suffered several fires; the existing building was rebuilt in the 16th century. During the French Revolution, it served for a time as a hospital and a prison, as well as other secular uses, before resuming a religious role again.

Saint-Aignan is best known for its beautiful 16th and 17th century stained glass. One scene depicts Saint-Aignan, the Bishop of Chartres, laying the first stone for the building. Another shows Jonah fleeing from a quite ferocious whale.

The style of these 16th century masterpieces is very different from that of the stained glass of Notre-Dame de Chartres, most of which date from the 13th century. It is interesting to see the two and appreciate the differences.

Saint-Aignan stained glass, Chartres, France
Saint-Aignan, Bishop of Chartres, lays the cornerstone of Saint-Aignan in this 16th century stained glass.

The interior nave is decorated in bright blue/green, with paintings done in the 19th century. This colorful view greets you when you enter and is somewhat surprising, but also very welcoming.

The Église Saint-Aignan provides an interesting contrast with the nearby Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. Smaller, more modest, with very different architecture and decor, it is well worth a visit. On days when the cathedral is full of tourists, you may find yourself alone in Saint-Aignan, with time and space to reflect and contemplate before you continue your own tourism.


About Chartres

Hotels in Chartres

What to See & Do

Chartres Cathedral

Cathedral Stained Glass

Restaurants in Chartres

Transport for Chartres

Tourist Information

Day-trips from Paris

 

Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Saint-Aignan, Chartres

Above, Facade of Église Saint-Aignan, Chartres.

Below, Interior nave, with polychrome painting.

 

Saint-Aignan, Chartres, interior

 

 

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