Beauty of France: Chartres Cathedral

Beauty of France: Chartres Cathedral
 In France, there are many churches, and each of them is beautiful in its own way. Perhaps the most famous is the Notre-Dame de Paris. But no less mysterious and amazing other Notre Dame, which is located in the old town of Chartres, which is hundreds of kilometers from Paris. Thousands of tourists come every year to its walls to touch the Shroud of the Virgin Mary.
 Chartres Cathedral is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. It can be called in every sense of the sublime: a unique, bright example of Gothic architecture, which impresses with its grandeur, besides it also stands on a hill - on a picturesque hill. Its construction began in the 12th century on the site of the burnt Romanesque cathedral, of which survived only western facade. Subsequently, it is organically built into the new one. From the burnt church survived as lower tier tower with sculptures and underground chapel, which became part of the foundation of the new cathedral.

Construction went on for thirty years, according to medieval standards was considered not so much. By 1260 Chartres ascended to heaven hitherto unprecedented construction and amaze with its size, silhouette, exquisite stained glass windows, carved pillars and lancet arches. Notre-Dame de Chartres was the first in the history of the French cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

It was built as a three-nave basilica built of granite and sandstone, which was brought from the quarries, is eight kilometers from the city. Sandstone is quite durable material, it is not surprising that the council was able to keep to the present day almost in the same form, which was built by medieval craftsmen. Some blocks of stone in its walls reach one meter in height, and two to three in length. Cathedral length of about 130 meters and the height of its main arch is 36 meters.

The church was consecrated in the presence of the then French King Louis IX. The decoration of the buildings affects the diversity and richness of forms. Outside and inside the building, there are about ten thousand sculptures of glass and stone, mainly on Christian themes. The main facade of Chartres Cathedral adorns a huge stained glass window, known as the "Gothic Rose". If you look at the cathedral, immediately catches the eye, with its two towers of different height and architectural style. In the north tower, which began to build in the 12th century, more delicate and whimsical steeple, decorated stone lace. More rigorous looks south tower, rising to a height of 106 meters. It was built in the early Gothic style.

The highlight of this cathedral stained glass windows, the total area of ​​two thousand square meters. They are distinguished by extreme intensity, purity of colors and images of various subjects. During the wars of the unique stained glass ensemble dismantled and hidden in basements, to keep it from bombs and shells. This titanic work saved the beauty of Chartres Cathedral. Deserves special attention and the altar, which is made of carved wood. Above it worked best masters of the past two centuries! On the altar depict scenes from the life of forty Virgin Mary and Christ. On the floor of Chartres Cathedral mosaic tiled mysterious labyrinth, dated 1205 year. It symbolizes the way to God. Believers are his lap. After that, it is rumored that a person goes insight, and he begins to realize his true place in life.

Notre-Dame de Chartres attracts pilgrims not only for its beauty but also relics, which are stored within its walls. A priceless relic of Chartres - cover of the Virgin Mary, who was allegedly on her during the birth of Jesus. This cathedral impresses even those people whose minds are not bound by religion. In 1979, Notre-Dame de Chartres was listed as a World Heritage Site.

Tags: beauty, stained glass, cathedral, Our Lady