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Chartres is built on a hill on the left bank of the Eure River. Its renowned medieval cathedral is at the top of the hill, and its two spires are visible from miles away across the flat surrounding lands. To the south-east stretches the fruitful plain of Beauce, the "granary of France", of which the town is the commercial centre.
Cathedrals and churches
The town is best known for the Cathedral of Chartres (French: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres), widely considered to be the finest Gothic cathedral in France. Its historical and cultural importance is recognized by its inclusion on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Its construction started in 1205, following the destruction of the old cathedral of Chartres. Construction took 66 years.
The abbey church of St.Pierre, dating chiefly from the 13th century, contains, besides some fine stained glass, twelve representations of the apostles in enamel, created about 1547 by Léonard Limosin. Of the other churches of Chartres also noteworthy are St Aignan (13th, 16th and 17th centuries) and St Martin-au-Val (12th century).
The surrounding city financed the stained glass windows. It is not known how the blue color of the glass was created, so it has been impossible to replicate.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts, fine arts museum (located near the Cathedral of Chartres) housed in the former episcopal palace.
- Le Grenier de l'Histoire Musée, history museum specializing in military uniforms and accoutrements.
- Le Centre International du Vitrail, a workshop-museum and cultural center devoted to stained glass art.
- Muséum de sciences naturelles et de la préhistoire, Natural Science and Prehistory Museum
- Conservatoire du Machinisme et des Pratiques Agricoles, an agricultural museum
The Eure River, which at this point divides into three branches, is crossed by several bridges, some of them ancient, and is fringed in places by remains of the old fortifications, of which the Porte Guillaume (14th century), a gateway flanked by towers, is the most complete specimen. The steep, narrow streets of the old town contrast with the wide, shady boulevards which encircle it and divide it from the suburbs. The Cbs St Jean, a pleasant park, lies to the north-west, and squares and open spaces are numerous.
The hotel de ville, a building of the 17th century, containing a museum and library, an older hotel de ville of the 13th century, and several medieval and Renaissance houses, are of interest. There is a statue of General F. S. Marceau-Desgraviers (b. 1769), a native of the town.
- La Maison Picassiette, a house decorated inside and out with mosaics of chards of broken china and pottery
The game pies and other delicacies of Chartres are well known, and the industries also include flour-milling, brewing, distilling, iron-founding, leather manufacture, perfumes, dyeing, and the manufacture of electronic equipment, car accessories, stained glass, billiard requisites and hosiery.
The Gare de Chartres railway station offers frequent services to Paris, and a few daily connections to Le Mans, Nogent-le-Rotrou and Courtalain. The A11 motorway connects Chartres with Paris and Le Mans.
Chartres has a table tennis club which is playing in the Pro A (French First division) and in the European Champions League. The club won the ETTU Cup on the season 2010 – 2011 and it finished at the second position in the French First division.
Chartres has the second most important squash club in France.
There is also a handball club and it is playing in the French second division.
In November 2012, Chartres organized the European Short Course Swimming Championships.
The town is the seat of a bishop, a prefecture, and a court of assizes. It has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of commerce, training colleges, a high school for boys, a communal college for girls, and a branch of the Bank of France.
Chartres has been a site of Christian pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. The poet Charles Péguy (1873–1914) revived the pilgrimage route between Paris and Chartres before the First World War. After the war, some students carried on the pilgrimage in his memory. Since the 1980s, the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté <http://www.nd-chretiente.com>, with offices in Versailles, has organized the annual Script error: No such module "convert". pilgrimage on foot from the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris to the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres. About 15,000 pilgrims, mostly young families from all over France, participate every year.
Notable bishops of Chartres:
- Fulbert of Chartres (1007–1029)
- St. Ivo of Chartres (1090–1115)
- John of Salisbury (1176–1180)
- Erard de la Marck (1472–1538)
Chartres was the birthplace of:
- Fulcher of Chartres (born around 1059 in or near Chartres), chronicler of the First Crusade
- Philippe Desportes (1546–1606), poet
- Mathurin Régnier (1573–1613), satirist
- André Félibien (1619–1695), architect and historiographer
- Pierre Nicole (1625–1695), Jansenist theologian
- Philippe de Dangeau (1638–1720), officer and member of the Académie française
- Antoine François Desrues (1744–1777), poisoner
- Jacques Pierre Brissot (1754–1793), a leading member of the Girondist movement (French Revolution)
- Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve (1756–1794), writer and politician
- François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers (1769–1796), general
- Achille Guénée (1809–1880), lawyer and entomologist
- Pierre-Jules Hetzel (1814–1886), editor and publisher
- Jacqueline de Romilly (born 1913), philologist
- Nicolas Escudé (born 1976), professional tennis player
- Julien Escudé (born 1979), professional footballer for Sevilla FC and the France national football team
- Loïc Duval (born 12 June 1982), professional racingdriver; currently A1 Team France, Formula Nippon and Super GT
- Julien Cetout footballer
- Laura Kamdop, handball player
- Allison Pineau handball player
- Eric Lada footballer
Twin towns – Sister cities
Chartres is twinned with:
- 23x15px Ravenna in Italy (since 1957)
- 23x15px Speyer in Germany (since 1959)
- 23x15px Chichester in the United Kingdom (since 1959)
- 23x15px Bethlehem in Palestinian Authority (since 1995)
- 23x15px Évora in Portugal (since 2003)
- 23x15px Cusco in Peru (since 1989)
- Template:Country data JPN Sakurai, Nara in Japan (since 1989)
- Gare de Chartres 01.jpg
Chartres railway station
- France Chartres 17th-c-engraving.jpg
17th-Century engraving of Chartres "skyline"
- France Eure et Loir Chartres Cathedrale nuit 02.jpg
The Cathedral of Chartres
- France Eure-et-Loir Chartres Cathedrale 02.jpg
The Apostles and Saint Sculptures of Chartres
- France Eure et Loir Chartres Bords de l Eure.jpg
The Old Town – River Eure
- France Eure et Loir Chartres Maison a colombage.jpg
Half-timbered house in the Old Town
- France Eure et Loir Chartres Vieille ville.jpg
Hill of St. François
- France Eure et Loir Chartres Vieille ville 02.jpg
View south from the Cathedral
- Eure Chartres.jpg
On the banks of the Eure River
- 12px This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Chartres and the Chartres Cathedral – Visitor Guide
- La Maison Picassiette in Chartres
- MilitaryTimes.com. "MilitaryTimes Hall of Valor". Welborn Barton Griffith, Jr. Military Times, a Gannett Company. Retrieved 10 May 2011. Note: The Distinguished Service Cross was awarded posthumously for saving the cathedral.
- Jay Nordlinger (2011). "A Colonel at Chartres". The Corner. NationalReview.com. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- Winieska, Françoise, August 1944, The Liberation of Rambouillet, France, SHARY, 1999, pp. 19–23, ISBN 2-9514047-0-0
- "To be multinational in Spain costs a lot, because the domestic market is too small". La Vanguardia. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
- "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
- "Twinning with Palestine". 1998–2008 The Britain – Palestine Twinning Network. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
- "::Bethlehem Municipality::". bethlehem-city.org. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- "Ciudades Hermanas (Sister Cities)" (in Spanish). Municipalidad del Cusco. Retrieved 23 September 2009.[dead link]
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chartres.|
- Tourist office website
- City council website (in French)
- Chartres' archeology service website (in French)
- Website about archaeological excavations (in French)
- Visiting Chartres (English)
- Photo of the abbey church of St.Pierre
- Music recorded in Chartres Cathedral in the resonant space of the labyrinth
- Chartres World Heritage Site in panographies – 360 degree interactive imaging
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