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Overview

You come to Chartres in the Ile de France 61 miles (98 km) southwest of Paris to see its incomparable cathedral and its unrivaled collection of stained glass and sculpture. In less than an hour on a train from Gare Montparnasse in Paris, you'll be standing in awe in front of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres admiring the Royal Portal, as did Rodin. The artist called the cathedral the French Acropolis because of its dazzling Romanesque sculpture. The cathedral was completed in 1220 and features all the painstaking artistry to which the craftsmen of the Middle Ages devoted their lives. The vaulted interior is transformed into a stone ...

You come to Chartres in the Ile de France 61 miles (98 km) southwest of Paris to see its incomparable cathedral and its unrivaled collection of stained glass and sculpture. In less than an hour on a train from Gare Montparnasse in Paris, you'll be standing in awe in front of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres admiring the Royal Portal, as did Rodin. The artist called the cathedral the French Acropolis because of its dazzling Romanesque sculpture. The cathedral was completed in 1220 and features all the painstaking artistry to which the craftsmen of the Middle Ages devoted their lives. The vaulted interior is transformed into a stone fantasy by the light streaming in through the stunning stained-glass windows. The whole structure seems to change its form as the light varies during the day. The city matches the cathedral - a huddle of gabled houses, some of them dating back seven or more centuries.

Danforth Prince
About the Expert

Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince have written many guidebooks for Frommer's, including Frommer's France and Frommer's Germany.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located 96 km southwest of Paris in central France, Chartres is a town and commune of France of the Eure-et-Loir département.
  • Language: French
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring, summer, early fall