We caught the 9:30 train to Chartres, a medium sized village just a 1.5 hour train ride west of Paris. There sits one of the most beautiful and important cathedrals in the world … Cathedral Notre-Dame de Chartres. Originally dating to the 4th century but destroyed several times by fire, the current cathedral dates to the late 1100’s and is one of the finest examples of Gothic French architecture in existence and was revolutionary in its day because of the flying buttresses that allowed for higher and grander domes.
However, what makes this church so special are; 1) it contains the the remnants of the tunic that Mary wore during the birth of Jesus and so this place has become a pilgrimage destination for Catholics around the world… we witnessed several people praying fervently in front of it and 2) it contains nearly 150 stained glass windows most of which are 30 feet tall or more. Imagine how my spirits soared when we walked in! I don’t know how many photos I took… but it couldn’t get enough. They are absolutely stunning and I am so fortunate to see this.
That was the highlight for the day. Back to Paris for a leisurely afternoon of street shopping and exploring the Montmartre district. We found another small but significant church even older than Chartres; St. Pierre de Montremartre dating to the mid 1100’s. The windows are quite modern but no less beautiful.
The weather today was gorgeous, the glass windows shockingly beautiful, the street musicians wonderfully talented, the food and wine filling and the mood joyous. Truly a perfect day. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?