Attractions in Chartres

Chartres Cathedral is situated in the medieval town of Chartres, in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France, about one hour from Paris.

The Chartres Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the main attraction in the city, but not the only one.

Just behind the cathedral, in the former Bishop’s Palace, is the Fine Arts Museum.

Erected in the 17th and 18th centuries, the museum houses an important collection of paintings, sculptures, enamels and documents that relate to the town’s history.

Nearby is the International Stained-Glass Centre, with exhibits of this art form. It also has a magnificent basement wine cellar with three vaulted 13th-century Gothic aisles.

Among other notable local churches are:

  1. Saint-Pierre, former abbey church of the Benedictine monks of Saint-Pere en Vallee. The abbey, founded as early as the 7th century, was one of the glories of the medieval town. It features astonishing pieces of Renaissance stained glass.
  2. St. Andrew, a Romanesque building dating from the 12th century.

In addition to its art treasures, Chartres has flower, vegetable and poultry markets, stylish shops, trade fairs, many parks and flower gardens, cultural and sports activities and 50 restaurants, as well as hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns offering 700 rooms.

Visit Chartes Cathedral

  • Chartres Cathedral is open daily 8:30 am -7:30 pm.
  • The Labyrinth is cleared for walking only on Fridays.
  • The Crypts can be visited only by guided tour and they aren’t available on Sundays or holidays.
  • Last entrance for the tower climb is at 5:30 pm.

Getting there:

Chartres is a 50-minute train ride from Gare Montparnasse Station in Paris. Reservations and information about train travel in France are available from Rail Europe, 2100 Central Ave., Suite 200, Boulder, Colo., 80301; phone (303) 443-5100 .

Trains for Chartres make the one-hour trip several times daily from the Montparnasse station in Paris.

Chartres Map: