About Chartres' shrine

How to get There

By road: Paris-Tours (RN10) and Le Mans (R.N. 23) Motorway Paris-Bretagne (A 11) Rouen-Orléans

By Train: Trainstation SNCF of Chartres 25 trains per day between Paris and Chartres/Chartres and Paris Direct line to Le Mans

By plane:Airports of Paris Orly (75 km) Roissy (120 km) by A 11.

History and Message

ChartresChartres cathedral, rebuilt in a quater of a century on the foundations of older buildings, is a monument in honour of Christ God and our Lady. It has 9 world-unique sculpted portals, and 2 600 square meters of stained glass from the 12th and the 13th centuries. A christian encyclopedia in sculpture and glass built for a people who could neither read nor write. These images, an expression of theology and spirituality, develop an universal message, one of life and faith - "the thought of the Middle Ages made visible" wrote Emile Male. Chartres has been a high-place of christianity since at least the 9th century, and today is an important pilgrimage centre. The relic, the Virgin's Veil, offered in 876 by King Charles the Bald, has drawn thousand of pilgrims from all over the world to our Lady of Chartres. This relic was miraculously preserved in the fire of 1194 and stimulated the faith of the crowds. An international surge of faith was responsible for buildings this marvelous Cathedral.

Even today groups come from all over the world following in the footsteps of Peguy and countless others. In their turn, pilgrims, chaplaincies come to this privileged place to find real meaning to faith.

It is a refernce point on the path of life - a santuary speaking of a people meeting with Christ and His Mother. If the Virgin Mary leads to Chartres, her message to everyone, at the Marriage at Cana, is "do whatever he tells you to do". It is the worth nothing that a Marian Sanctuary there are more representations of Christ than of the Virgin herself.

Tourist Environment

Chartres is only one hour from Paris, and is at the crossroads of roads leading to Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley. Long before arriving in Chartres, the traveller sees the two spires of the Cathedral rising above the Beauce plain.

Our Lady of Chartres, a three-fold masterpiece, of architecture, stained glass and statues, is one of the most complete and best preserved gothic cathedrals. It has been placed on the UNESCO list of World heritage monuments. Even if Chartres has become a modern economically dynamic town, it has by no means forgotten its past : its history is around the Cathedral for all to see, Timber-frame houses, steep winding streets, flights of stone steps going down to the inviting banks of the river Eure.

You can go on a ride in the "little train" round these small streets, which have inspired artists and photographers. There are other places worth the visit around the Mary Sanctuary ; churches : St-André, St-Pierre, St-Aignan ; Museums : the fine Arts Museum, the International Stained Glass Centre, the Agricultural Museum (COMPA) and the other places like Picassiette's house.

There are other things to see and hear - the pedestrian precincts and shopping streets, organ concerts, and in July and August "Soirées Estivales" : free concerts and street theatre. There are specialities to be tasted : Chartres pate ; mentchikoffs, and many restaurants serve "poule au pot" souvenir of Henry IV, the only French King to have been crowned here.

For Your Pilgrimage

Please contact the Cathedral Deanery to organise masses for groups with or without their priest.

Mass is said every day of the week at 11:45 am in the crypt and 6:pm in the cathedral.

Sundays 9:30 am (in latin) in the cathedral 11: pm (in French) in the Cathedral 6: pm in the Crypt.

Visits : * With a guide - for individual - Easter to All Saints Day : 10:30 and 3: pm except Sunday, Monday and Public Holidays - All Saints Day to Easter : 2:30 pm - For groups - in French, English, German and Spanish (on request) * Visits with a walkman - for individual, 14 languages available For further details on visits, please contact :
Service des Visites et Conferences de la Cathedrale 24 Cloitre Notre Dame BP 131 - 28003 CHARTRES CEDEX Tel : Fax :