Again, the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres !!!

Let me update this older post on one of the magnificent monuments of my belle France. Funny I look at my pictures and posts and got to notice I/we tend to post mostly from the areas we live in and once we moved we forget the old places. I think this is the case with Chartres in dept 28 of Eure et Loir in the Centre Val de Loire region, and in my belle France. It is about 125 km from my current town; and 75 km from my former town of  Versailles.

However, the main thing in Chartres is one of the grand cathedrals of France and one I had the priviledge of going to its basement to see wonders not shown to the general public on a tour from the Château de Versailles! Love it! Therefore, let me tell you my bit on the Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres! 

In 1353, Cathedral Notre-Dame de Chartres already had an organ: Jehan de Chateaudun appeared as organist of the cathedral. He touches an instrument installed on the platform with double ogival vault in paneled wood, still visible today, hung on the second bay of the southern wall. In 1475, is installed an instrument making speak up to 50 pipes per key in the top, The large rectangular pedal turrets each receive three pipes per turret. The great organ is equipped with a Joël Petrique electronic combiner of 8,848 combinations, organized into 33 workspaces. Each space has 16 series, and each series has 16 combinations (a total of 256 combinations per space). Each space also offers 2 programmable crescendi.

Chartres Cat ND organ sep21

The Portail Nord or north door was probably made between 1210 and 1225. Made up of three bays, it is preceded by as many porches, resting on light supports, decorated with interesting natural motifs. It is that of the Covenant of God with Humanity. central porch, the sculpted program of the 13C begins with the creation of the world, with an obvious concern to encompass all of time. On the trumeau of the central portal, Anne carries the young Mary in her arms. On the tympanum, the Death, Dormition and Coronation of the Virgin, surrounded by her ancestors, complete this frontispiece, designed expressly for the Marian sanctuary.

Chartres Cat ND portail nord double rosary sep21

In the embrasures, ten biblical characters announce Christ the Savior: Melchizedek, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Simeon, John the Baptist and Peter.  At the right door, it is the praise of wisdom, through the biblical stories of Job and Solomon , Gideon, Judith, Esther, Tobit, and Samson . At the left door, it that is to say, on the eastern side, Christian wisdom is revealed: incarnation. On the lintel is represented the Nativity, followed by the announcement to the shepherds. Marie, lying on a bed, shows her hand to her swaddled child placed in a manger. Joseph, seated behind a small column, watches the scene leaning on his staff. Further on, the shepherds learn the Good News from an angel. Above them, angels unroll a banner on which were the first words of the Gloria. The tympanum is dedicated to the adoration of the Magi: Mary presents the child Jesus. One of the kings, having taken off his crown, kneels before him to offer him his present. Next door, the Magi are dozing in a bed. The youngest is awakened by an angel who informs him of Herod’s fatal plan. At the flares, the Annunciation and the Visitation face each other. It will be noted that the large statues, which show true naturalness, now address each other. On the tympanum of the central portal, Mary crowned by Christ also appears as a symbolic figure of the Church, people on the move since the dawn of time, passionately alternating discouragement, enthusiasm and conversion whose extreme dignity God thus consecrates. which can be discerned in certain figures of the central portal. However, it is difficult to imagine what the portal was like in the eyes of the pilgrims of the 13C.

Chartres Cat ND portail nord rosary out sep21

A sculpted angel carries a sundial in her arms.The southern dial, stone-engraved, semi-circular, numbered lines in band, chevron style. This is a copy dating from 1974, the original dated 1578 is placed in the crypt. A copy of this sundial was made at University Hospital in Saint-Louis (USA-MO) In the Tour de Chœur, or choir enclosure, is almost a hundred meters long, 6 meters high, and even more at the tip of the spiers of the upper dais. This fence is made of stone from Vernon and Saint Leu for the lower and upper parts, not to mention stones from Tonnerre and other sources for the sculptures. It was built starting with the two rectilinear parts, first on the north side, quickly followed by the south. The wall is divided into forty bays, delimited by buttresses adorned with statues of bishops. Vertically, there are four levels: a base sometimes decorated with sculpted medallions, a skylight, filled almost entirely with plaster, 40 niches filled with sculpted scenes, and a crowning canopy made of stone lacework, in the flamboyant style.

Chartres Cat ND cadran choir apostles sep21

These sculpted scenes tell the unfolding of the story of Mary and Jesus: its reading begins from the south transept, and by entering the ambulatory. He wears the pontifical tiara, holds the globe in his right hand and probably carried the scepter in his left hand unfortunately cut off. It is the Creator, at the origin of everything, and who will give his son to the World in the Christian Revelation. The first two scenes show us a man and a woman, the man is Joachim, father of Marie. One day of great feast in Israel, he is refused his offerings by the high priest because of his sterility, a condition considered a divine disgrace. Joachim, ashamed before God and confused before men, goes to hide his tears by keeping the flocks away, abandoning his house and his wife, who remained at home in tears. Hence Joachim on the left and Anne on the right. Angels are divine messengers coming to reveal the designs of God. Joachim and Anne receive the same message: a child promised to a special destiny will be given to them. The angel invites them to meet at the golden gate of Jerusalem. All of the 37 scenes that follow summarize the life of Mary and Jesus, ending in the north in the apotheosis of Mary’s coronation in heaven by the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit.

Chartres Cat ND choir apostle corner sep21

Chartres Cat ND choir apostles side sep21

The sacristy is an elegant construction from the end of the 13C. The treasury was constituted around insignia relics such as the heads of Saint Anne or Saint Matthew, but one of the pillars of the foundation and growth of the treasury of Notre-Dame is incontestably the relic of the veil of the Virgin , called holy shirt before the 18C or Sancta Camisia.

Chartres Cat ND sacristy ent sep21

The city of Chartres on the Cathedral:

The Chartres tourist office on the cathedral

This is the official Friends of the Cathedral assoc

There you go folks, come here is a must at least once in your lifetime, The Notre Dame Cathedral alone is worth the visit to Chartres, but there is more if you read my old posts. Most of the information above was taken from the officla Cathedral webpage quickly basic translation by yours truly. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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