Stained Glass At Chartres Cathedral
Back to our trip. The thing that really grabs your attention inside Chartres Cathedral is the stained glass. Most of the windows date to the 12th and 13th Centuries and have been scrupulously preserved.
These are called rose windows, for obvious reasons. They are so high up it is difficult to see the detail, but I found it hard to tear my eyes away just from the shapes and colors.
Even more than the sculptures, the windows are like picture books telling the stories of the bible: the infancy of Christ, the passion and resurrection, etc. The amount of detail is incredible. As I’ve said, I am not a religious person, but you don’t have to be a believer to see the artistry here.
I think the windows I loved best showed the medieval trades at work, including stone cutters and masons working on the cathedral. One theory is that these windows recognize the contributions of the guilds to the construction of Chartres cathedral, but many historians discount this.
The vaulted ceilings, 121 feet high (37 meters), are effective at making me feel very small, something I don’t often feel. A cleaning project has been partially completed. There is a dramatic difference between the gleaming stone that has been cleaned and the grimy ones that have not.
I have to say I really like stained glass, religious or not. My favorite piece of garden art is a metal sunflower that has been fitted with pieces of stained glass. Sadly this piece has taken some knocks over the years and is missing some parts. Also the store where we bought it is closed. What about you – are you fond of stained glass?
Upcoming posts: planting tulips in containers, plus our death-defying drive from Chartres to Amboise.