Chartres Cathedral is a medieval structure, which is located about eighty kilometers southwest from the city of Paris. This cathedral is a very good example of the high gothic style of French architecture. The current structure was mainly developed between 1193 and 1250. This cathedral is one of the five cathedrals which have actually occupied this site since the fourth century.
Chartres Cathedral is a special cathedral and it is important in terms of historical importance. This cathedral is in a somewhat exceptional state for a medieval structure. A lot of the original stained glass windows are actually still present within the building. Since the early part of the thirteenth century there have not been many changes to this building. This cathedral has a length of one hundred and thirty meters and a width of between thirty-two and forty six meters. This structure features one hundred and seventy six windows, which feature stained glass.
The exterior of the building is dominated by the flying buttresses which are heavy and these enable the architects to significantly increase the size of the windows. The two spires that are contrasting dominate the west end of the structure. One of the spires is one hundred and five meters in height and it is a plain pyramid structure, which dates back to the 1140′s. The other spire has a height of one hundred and thirteen meters and it dates back to the early part of the sixteenth century. There are three facades that are part of this cathedral and each one of these features hundreds of sculpted figures, which include illustrated narratives and theological themes.
Like any other medieval bishopric this cathedral is one of the most important buildings within the town. This cathedral was at the center of the economy for this area. Chartres cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks within this area and it is one of the main focal points. During the Middle Ages one of the main functions of this cathedral was as a market place and it was concerned with various different commercial activities. These were all centered on different portals and this was especially the case during the fairs that were held regularly.
During this time textiles were sold from the north transept and products such as vegetables, fuel and meat were sold from the south porch. During the thirteenth century there was a trend for people to gather around this area in order to wait to be offered work by employers. The sculptures that are on the portals of this cathedral are created to a very high standard and there is a range of different elements that are carved. The interior of this cathedral is designed to be dark.
Since the early part of the twelfth century The Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres has been an important destination for tourists and it is still admitting people even nowadays. Every year there are a lot of Christian pilgrims that visit this cathedral and a lot of these people want to enjoy the famous relics that are within this cathedral.