Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral, located in the Centre-Val de Loire region, is one of the mostauthentic and complete works of religious architecture of the early 13th century.
Partly built starting in 1145, and then reconstructed over a 26-year period after the fire of 1194, Chartres Cathedral marks the high point of French Gothic art.The vast nave, in pure ogival style, the porches adorned with fine sculptures from the middle of the 12th century, and the magnificent 12th – and 13th -century stained- glass windows, all in remarkable condition, combine to make it a masterpiece.
It was the destination of a pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin Mary, among the most popular in all medieval Western Christianity. Because of the unity of its architecture and decoration, the result of research of the first Gothic era, its immense influence on the art of Middle Age Christianity, Chartres Cathedral appears as an essential landmark in the history of medieval architecture.
The outstanding stained-glass ensemble, monumentalstatuary of the 12th and 13th centuries and the painted decorations miraculously preserved from the ravages of humankind and time, make Chartres one of the most admirable and the best-preserved examples of Gothic art.
At Chartres, the art of stained glass, of which the Renaissance has left us some wondrous examples, lives through contemporary artists.