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Chartres
April 21, 2008
Pete's Pics > Chartres
Granary of France
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Eglise St Pierre - Saint Peter's Church - is an abbey church, which accounts for the large size. It was constructed outside the defensive city wall and therefore had to provide for its own defense which has endowed it with a something of a fortress flavor


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The tower at the west end is singularly un-church-like


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Flying butresses are used extensively on the north and east sides


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Saint Peters is regarded as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France


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To the south of the church are the abbey gardens and the present Benedictine Monastery


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Up the hill from St Peters can be seen the top of St Aignon and, at right the Cathedral spires


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The rather unappealing facade of Saint Aignan church. A St Aignan of one shape or another has been on this site since around 400 CE. The current building dates to the 16th century


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The interior looks almost too big for the exterior. Note the wooden roof


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Another view showing more of the ceiling


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One of the numerous stained glass windows


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The imposing pulpit, little used nowadays, along with some of the interior color decoration. Quite uncommon in such churches


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The high altar


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Chartres is squarely in the Jeanne d'Arc area and a statue of the maiden was almost inevitable


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Dozens of wooden carvings, such as the one shown here, are mounted around the interior


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The Hotel Montescot was originally built in the 16th century but has been rebuilt several times since then following political reverses. It has served as a school., a poorhouse and is currently functioning as a museum


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The Notre Dame cathedral spires coming into view


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A tempting pair of sidewalk eateries, at least to these punters. Notice the jeans, sweaters and topcoats - the weather was still not too spring like!


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Head on view of the cathedral spires. Like many other historical buildings encountered, this one is undergoing repair and renovation efforts


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The facade and rose window elegantly filtered through the scaffolding


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Impressive towers!


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The east end of the church showing the presence of numerous chapels in the apse


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The spectacular northern portico


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The interior is dark to the point of being gloomy


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Even so, the soaring ceiling is impressive at 121 feet - the height of a 12 storey building


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This unusual sculpture graces the high altar


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Back outside we walked to the Museum of Ceramics but were not favorably impressed


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Behind the cathedral, still on the high ground, is what is now the Chartres Museum


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In the adjacent gardens is this manicured labyrinth. At one time, penitents were tasked to crawl around labyrinths - can't say I would relish this one


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Down behind the cathedral and the Museum is the College of saint Andre and its attendant church


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The river Eure in the lower part of the old town


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Another view of Saint Andre College


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Porte Guillaume, at the eastern end of the old town is about all that is left of the old city gates


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A remnant of the city wall adjacent to the Guillaume gate and bridge
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