THE Gothic Cathedral.
No other church moves me like Chartres does.... The architecture, the sculptures, the stained glass:
they are all so UNIQUE and incredible. I bow down to the floor in respect and in awe to the hundreds of anonymous masons, sculptors and glass makers of the Chartres Cathedral who were able to make
all these wonders in the lapse of just one generation (30 years).
Like Rodin who considered the Cathedral of Chartres as "the Acropolis of France", this cathedral is to me the biggest and most fascinating open book of sculptures and stained glass of the Middle Ages ever written. Just to admire it on your own can elevate you to another dimension but, if you have someone who can tell you almost all the stories depicted on the sculptures of the doorways and on the stained glass inside, I swear it will make your day!
And the restoration works, even though they were controversial to some, are simply MAGNIFICENT (and I will of course explain to you why).
My enthusiastic visit of the cathedral itself will take at least two intensive hours (it all depends how much you can take). Just going to Chartres is totally worth the trip (we can do it in 5 to 6 hours round trip) but I highly recommend you make it a full day tour together with the chateau of Maintenon which is another incredible place.
Even though the stained glass of the cathedral is better looking in the morning, Chartres is beautiful at any time, even on a cloudy day; and if we go late in the afternoon, after the visit we can have an excellent dinner nearby (at a great price/value) and then we can go back to see the cathedral's light show (the show is free!) before we drive back to Paris! It's totally worthwhile seeing (check-out the pictures in the slideshow below). Your call...
Anyway, please make my day and let me make your day: please ask me to bring you to Chartres!
Warning: after visiting this cathedral, most cathedrals will inevitably seem a little dull...