24 hours in Chartres, France - UNESCO Chartres Cathedral, Lumieres, Maison Picassiette & more

A trip to visit CHARTRES CATHEDRAL 
One of the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES in FRANCE & more!

Thanks to Chartres Cathedral being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I've been considering visiting Chartes for quite some time now. Chartres is located very close to Paris and I've been considering a day trip to Chartres from Brussels, however, that seemed a bit too hectic without a car. While pondering about it, I also came to know of this fantastic light show at Chartres which made an overnight stay in Chartres, a much more sensible option. So, that's what I did. Here's all about my weekend trip to Chartres from Brussels. 

Chartres Cathedrale en Lumiere
Chartres Cathedral en Lumiere

Top places to visit in Chartres Maison Picassiette Chartres
Maison Picassiette

Chartres Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France
Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral Towers & Roof Tour View of Chartres
View from atop Chartres Cathedral

Top things to do in Chartres

An Ultimate Travel Guide to visit Chartres from Paris
Top 5 things to do in Chartres in 24 hours

VISIT CHARTRES CATHEDRAL - UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN FRANCE
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is magnificent. In an aerial photo, it looks just perfect (there's a special reason for it!). Its history is very interesting and it has survived quite a lot! So yes, Chartres Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

History & Architecture of Chartres Cathedral: With the history of the town existing since the Gallo-Romain Era, churches have stood here since ancient times. It was time & again damaged or burnt in 8th, 9th & 11th C CE. It was then that Bishop Fulbert decided to build a huge cathedral here. 
The entire Cathedral was built in a record time of 25 years which means it was constructed from inception to end under the same architect. It was his hand that was used as a scale which has resulted in absolute perfection in its geometry & symmetry. The re-consecration happened in 1260 CE. It gained furthermore importance when King Henry IV of France chose here for coronation than Reims Cathedral as his predecessors. 

How did Chartres Cathedral survive the World Wars & French Revolution: One of the fascinating things about Chartres Cathedral is how it survived World Wars. During the 1st World War, in 1914, after they saw how Reims Cathedral was bombed, they decided to dismantle the entire, historic stained glass windows. They numbered it all, took it down, and stored it in the crypt. These numbers can still be seen at the back of the windows if you go on the Towers tour (more details below). After the war, the building was restored and the Stained Glass windows were put in place again. Again they were dismantled during WWII and then put back again. Also, during WWII, the USA of Allies here doubted that the Germany of Axis was using the Cathedral's towers as a watchpoint. Col. Welborn Barton Griffith Jr. of the USA was ordered to destroy the cathedral, but he volunteered to go into the enemy line, into the Cathedral's towers, and found it empty, thus saving it! Much earlier, during French Revolution, a mob tried to burn it down but was saved by the locals.

What is Chartes Blue? Why are Chartres Cathedral Stained Glass Windows special? Stained Glass windows cover 2600 sqm in 172 bays in Chartres Cathedral. The Stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral are one of the very few surviving examples of medieval stained glass of 12th C CE - the genealogy, life, and passion of Christ and on another section, the Notre-Dame de la Belle-Verrière. The Chartres Blue color around Mary and the blue in the nearby panels have a stark difference. This blue is called Chartres Blue where the glass was treated with Cobalt. Somehow it could never be replicated later! The Rose Windows and most others were made in the 13th C. Few were made in a later era.

Chartres Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France

Chartres Cathedral Medieval Stained Glass Windows

Chartres Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France

Chartres Cathedral Sculptures

Chartres Cathedral Choir Wall Sculptures

Sculptural details at Chartres Cathedral: Chartres Cathedral's sculptures need special mention. Right from the entrance, it is rather detailed. The sculptures on the portals have so many details incl. Sun signs, labors of the months, musical instruments, subjects taught in the ancient School of Chartres incl. weaving, music (depicted by carillon), literature, etc. Some, visually very intriguing ones are, of course, the depiction of hell and temptations. 
Inside the Cathedral, the Choir Wall needs a special mention. Made of stone, this 6m tall, 100m long Choir Wall was made in 16th -17th C CE. The sculptures have a depth of about 30-50cm with characters placed on multiple levels, making every scene dramatic! The scenes are depicted from birth of Virgin Mary till her Coronation.

Chartres Labyrinth (Maze) - Pregnancy Speciality Cathedral: As soon as you enter the Cathedral, as you look at its majestic Rosette window, also look down beneath your feet! There's a maze, a labyrinth. Guess what, the maze is exactly the same size as that of the Rosette window! Normally, it is entirely covered with chairs, but every Friday from Mar to Oct, the chairs are put aside for the public to walk through it. The labyrinth has white stones. The labyrinth depicts the journey of life and the white stones depict the milestones in life. There are 280 stones that make this labyrinth which signifies the 280 days of a woman's pregnancy (gestation period). Yes, Chartres Cathedral is a special pilgrimage site for safe pregnancy!

Tour of the Towers & Roofs of Chartres Cathedral: There's a special guided tour to visit the towers & roof of Chartres Cathedral. Of course, it requires climbing its spiral staircase on foot. As you climb, the first stop is the backside of one of the Stained Glass Windows where you get to see how they have been made historically and those numbers (as I mentioned earlier). The next stop is all the way up, next to the towers, where you get to see not only the aerial view of the town but also the magnificent architecture of the cathedral, esp. its flying buttresses and slanted colonnades! The next stop is under the roof of the Cathedral which is a copper-covered, iron frame roof that reminded me much of an inverted ship's hull! From there, we start getting back down. We could spot the mason's symbols on the way.

Veil of Virgin Mary - Relics of Chartres Cathedral: Of all the relics of the Chartres Cathedral, the most precious one is the Veil of Mother Mary. It is the main reason why Chartres Cathedral is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in France. 

Where is Chartres Cathedral (on Google Maps)? Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres
How to reach Chartres CathedralChartres Cathedral is located 600m (8 min walk) from Chartres Railway Station. 
Chartres Cathedral entry tickets: Free
Chartres Cathedral timings: 9:30AM to 7:30PM everyday
Chartres Cathedral Towers guided tour tickets: €6.00
Chartres Cathedral Towers guided tour timings: Jan-Apr: 11:00AM & 3:00PM; May: 11:00AM, 2:30PM & 4:00PM; June onwards: 10:15AM, 11:30AM, 2:15PM & 3:30PM. Reservation recommended.
Chartres Cathedral Phone Number for Reservation: +33 (0) 2 37 21 22 07

Chartres Blue Cathedral Medieval Stained Glass Windows

Chartres Cathedral Medieval Stained Glass Windows

Chartres Cathedral Towers & Roof Flying Buttresses

Chartres Cathedral Towers & Roof Tour

Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth Top Pilgrimage Sites in France
Pic Credit: Maksim, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

VISIT THE INTERNATIONAL STAINED GLASS CENTER - CENTRE INTERNATIONAL DU VITRAIL
With its majestic, historic stained glass windows at the Chartres Cathedral, it is only obvious that the International Stained Glass Center, one of its kind museum in France, would be set up in Chartres! The permanent collection here has more than 70 stained glasses from the Renaissance Era & later! The best part is the first floor where each and every scene of each and every window of the Chartres Cathedral is explained. So, it is a good idea to visit this museum before visiting the Cathedral. 

Where is International Stained Glass Center (on Google Maps)? Centre International du Vitrail de Chartres
How to reach International Stained Glass CenterJust beside Chartres Cathedral
International Stained Glass Center tickets: €7
International Stained Glass Center timings: Mon-Fri: 10:15AM - 12:15AM & 2:00PM to 5:30PM; Weekends & holidays: 2:00PM to 5:30PM

Chartres Cathedral en Lumiere | Chartres Light Festival

Chartres en Lumiere | Chartres Light Festival

Chartres en Lumiere | Chartres Light Festival

Chartres en Lumiere | Chartres Light Festival

Chartres en Lumiere | Chartres Light Festival


EXPERIENCE CHARTES EN LUMIERES - CHARTRES LIGHT FESTIVAL
After dinner at a restaurant just beside Chartres Cathedral, I was there in front of the Cathedral as the light show began at 8PM. It was a Friday evening, but we had the entire place almost to ourselves, apart from hardly 10 other people. After attending quite a crowded light show in Brussels, London Lumieres, and Eindhoven Glow, this was a welcome change. 
The Royal Portal of the Cathedral has, not 1 but 2, fantabulous video mapping shows of 15 minutes each, back to back. The shows were mesmerizing. Against the dark skies, the light & dark video-mapping show was impeccable! From 8:00 to 8:30PM, I was right there, seated on the pebbly ground, with the bellowing wind blowing on me, watching both shows. The first was Chartres, from Yesterday to Tomorrow which was all about the Cathedral (& the town that grew around it), from being a forest to the Gallo-Romain era, through 1594 (when it gained importance) through French Revolution till this digital era. The second was Nave of Light which was more magical, colorful, glittery, and mesmerizing. Here's the thing, even a video of the place won't do any justice as compared to being there in person, watching it surrounded by hardly any crowd, cozy in your warm coats.
The next stop was right around the corner on the North Portal to see the facade in its olden glory where the sculptures are all covered with colors, thanks to photo mapping, to make it look as it would have looked centuries ago!
From there we headed to the river banks to Saint Andre Collegiate Church which again has stunning video mapping. While the one in the cathedral was very magical and out of the world, this one was so earthy & natural, taking inspiration from manuscripts and herbariums. The show begins with the medieval lab which is flooded and the building crumbles and then life forms from it with trees, butterflies, birds, squirrels, deer, and even dragons!
From there we started walking along the river Eure. The best part was the medallions with light embedded on the street that made it easy to navigate. Several bridges and washhouses along the river Eure have been video mapped each depicting various things from butterflies to crabs to penguins to monkeys to tigers etc. One was unique - Gloriette Quay & Wash house which looked more like an etching/ a drawing! The most fascinating of them all is the Saint Hilaire bridge and arcade which was all about Africa. The show begins with sculptures, architecture & hieroglyphics of Egyptian civilization and moved to nature - there was a lion sitting under the arcades and a giraffe peeking over it and an elephant running in the background - quite spectacular.
From the riverbanks, we walked back into the town and headed to Saint-Pierre Church's video mapping. This was more of a graphical style, but very very colorful. By this time it was already 10PM and Atyudarini was very sleepy, so I skipped Place Billard and Fresco of Lattre de Tassigny and headed directly to Hotel Montescot. The video mapping at Hotel Montescot's facade was also about the history of Chartres but told from a child's point of view. But ironically, my child, Atyudarini, fell asleep by this time (it's way past her bedtime) and I couldn't take any photos or videos as I watched & walked while carrying her!
The video mapping show on the facade of the Theatre of Chartres has a very fun, frolicky nature complete with marshmallows & candies! Again, too bad that Atyudarini was deep asleep by the time we were here. Finally, my last stop was the Mediatheque where the video mapping was about Media in Chartres - Dinosaurs roaming in Chartres through newspapers till the digital era! It was past 10:30PM and just beside Mediatheque is Hotel Grand Monarque where we stayed.

Chartres en Lumieres map: via Chartres en Lumieres (opens/downloads as PDF)
When does Chartres en Lumieres happen? May to January every year
Chartres en Lumieres timings: May to Sept: Dusk - 1:00AM; Oct to Jan - 6:30PM to 10:30PM

Top places to visit in Chartres Maison Picassiette Chartres

Top places to visit in Chartres Maison Picassiette Chartres

Top places to visit in Chartres Maison Picassiette Chartres

Top places to visit in Chartres Maison Picassiette Chartres

Top places to visit in Chartres Maison Picassiette Chartres

Top places to visit in Chartres Maison Picassiette Chartres

VISIT MAISON PICASSIETTE
I loved Maison Picassiette. Atyudarini loved Maison Picassiete. It reminded me so much of Nek Chand's Rock Gardens in Chandigarh as well as Antoni Gaudi's Casa Battlo in Barcelona. The best part was, we reached here right at 10:00AM when they opened which gave us enough time at the place all by ourselves before other visitors started trickling in! 
Maison Picassiette was the private home of Raymond Isidore who used to collect scrap tiles & bottles in the neighborhood with which he made mosaics at his home in 1935-52. The word Pique-assiette in French literally means 'Plate thief' because he was nicknamed one! Today, the term refers to this style of mosaic where shards of waste ceramics and bottles are used to make mosaic art. In Catalan, Spain (where Antoni Gaudi worked) it is called Trencadís.
Today it is a single-artist museum. Maison Picassiette is a very small place with just 3 rooms & 3 courtyards which require only 1 hour to look around even if you stop to take a hundred photos and you will because it is one of the most instagrammable locations in Chartres! Maison Picassiete blew our minds the moment I entered it. I was surrounded by tiny embedded mosaics, tiles, and glasses all around me. This was a very new thing for Atyudarini and she was quite amused; for her, it was something like the paper tiles craft that she does, but it is a building???? She was a bit confused, intrigued, and amazed as well! Everything from walls to roofs to flower pots to decorative things, everything was filled with these tiny mosaic works using scrap materials!!!
The first room is the home of the artist which can be seen from the outside. Everything here, from floor to tabletops to chairs to cabinets to countertops everything was filled with mosaic work. The next room is the Chapel which can be entered. It has depictions of Crosses, Jesus, the Madonna, Churches, Bibles & more. The next is the inner courtyard which has a tomb, a well, and a chair! The entire wall here is filled with images of various churches & chapels. The next is the Summer room filled with more frescoes than mosaics, as he did in the later part of his life. Beyond this is the outer courtyard where the first stop is the orchard and then is the Jerusalem Court. There are a couple of life-sized statues in the garden which reminded me more of Nek Chand's Rock Garden in Chandigarh. The Jerusalem Court is majestic with a throne and a depiction of Jerusalem's cityscape on the wall made of mosaic art! On the sidewalls are the depiction of Chartres Cathedral and its Rosette Window. Behind this, tucked in, is the tomb of the spirit. That's it!
While you are here, don't miss his grave at St.Cheron cemetery (where he worked as a sweeper) which is located just 250m (3 mins walk) from here. 

Where is Maison Picassiete (on Google Maps)Maison Picassiette
How to reach Maison Picassiete? Maison Picassiete is located 2.4km from Chartres Railway Station. The nearest bus stop is Picassiete (2 mins walk) which is served by Filibus Route 4 from Chartres Railway Station.
Maison Picassiete tickets: €6.50
Maison Picassiete timings: Open only from Mar 15 to Nov 15. Mon, Wed-Sat: 10:00AM to 12:30PM and 2:00PM to 6:00PM; Sundays: 2:00PM to 6:00PM. Closed on Tuesdays.

Where is Raymond Isidore's tomb (on Google Maps)? St.Cheron cemetery
How to reach Raymond Isidore's tomb: 200m (3 mins walk) from Maison Picassiete
St.Cheron Cemetery timings: 8:00AM to 6:00PM everyday
St.Cheron Cemetery tickets: Free

Chartres Day Weekend Trip

Chartres Day Weekend Trip

Chartres Day Weekend Trip

Chartres Day Weekend Trip

Chartres Day Weekend Trip Chart'rain

WALK AROUND THE TOWN, L'EURE RIVER & FORTIFICATIONS (or RIDE THE CHART'TRAIN)
While I did walk around the town the previous night, following the Chartres Lumieres path, the feel of the town in broad daylight is much different and must also be experienced. The old-world charm of the town is so evident in the broad daylight as you go on a walking tour of Chartres. After visiting Maison Picassiette, we took the bus again but disembarked at Morard from where we started walking along L'Eure river.

Chartres Fortification walls: The history of Chartres dates back to the Gallo-Romain Era and it has been an important town ever since. The river was then called Autura and so, the town, Autricum. Like all other Roman towns, there must have been a Roman Fortification here too, but there are no traces of it currently. It was in 12th-13th C, the town was entirely fortified and had these bridges across l'Eure and 12 gates including Porte Guillaume. In 14th-16th C, it was further strengthened. Today bits & pieces of the ramparts are visible here and there. The Porte Guillaume was unfortunately destroyed during WWII but it is possible to see its ruins. All the bridges are still in use, so have been renovated and strengthened time & again. 

Walking around Chartres in broad daylight, seeing the bridges & wash houses, looking at Porte Guillaume in crumbles against the background of Chartres Cathedral, boats moored to the houses on the banks of l'Eure, and the bits & pieces of the fortification wall blended with half-timbered houses and the current architecture is quite a charm. 

Le Petit Chart'train:
While walking around at your own pace is fantastic, it is not always possible, especially, if you're with kids or the elderly. This is a tourist train that goes around Chartres in 2 different routes - 35 mins route in the day and the 45 mins Chartres en Lumiere route at night. That said, it runs only from March to November. So if you're in Chartres for Christmas or New Year, you may only have to walk through the town. Since I walked through the town both at night & the next day in the morning, I personally cannot review the Petit Chart'train for you!

Best Chartres Hotels | Hotel Grand Monarque Chartres

Best Chartres Hotels | Hotel Grand Monarque Chartres

Best Chartres Hotels | Hotel Grand Monarque Chartres

Best Chartres Hotels | Hotel Grand Monarque Chartres

Best Chartres Hotels | Hotel Grand Monarque Chartres

Best Chartres Hotels | Hotel Grand Monarque Chartres

BEST CHARTRES HOTELS
Chartres is a small town, but thanks to Chartres Cathedral's importance it hosts thousands of tourists and there are several hotels in the heart of the town. That said, there are no chain hotels in Chartres like Ibis or Marriot etc. Chartres hotels are available in all price points right from Chartres Youth Hostel to B&Bs to sophisticated boutique hotels in Chartres.

Chartres Grand Monarque Hotel Review:
We stayed at Grand Monarque Hotel in Chartres which is right beside Mediatheque. It was an absolute delight and I was only sad that we didn't have more time to just experience the hotel itself. Chartres Grand Monarque hotel has been in existence since 17th C CE as Auberge Sainte-Barbe. Since 1968, the Jallerat family owns it!
The hotel is aristocratic and elegant. It has a historic charm but has all modern amenities. There's a bar and a restaurant on the ground floor and from most of its rooms on the higher floor, the Cathedral is visible from the window. The ground floor also has a nice pool, sauna, hammam, & more! It is definitely a bit unfortunate that I didn't have much time to just relax at this hotel! Grand Monarque Hotel is perfect for a relaxing holiday in Chartres.
The interiors, everything from wallpaper to the furniture to the cushion cover everything to match the historic charm of the hotel. The rooms have all basic amenities incl. a coffee corner, mini bar, hair dryer, toiletries etc. There's a very comfortable bathtub. The majestic sofas, crystal chandeliers, paintings on the wall, and print designs on the pillows, everything, arouse the Grand Monarque feel when you stay there! 

Where is Chartres Grand Monarque Hotel (on Google Maps): Chartres Grand Monarque Hotel
Chartres Grand Monarque Hotel phone no: +33 237 18 15 15
Chartres Grand Monarque Hotel room rates: Room rates begin at €121 for double occupancy in a standard room on weekdays. 

BEST CHARTRES RESTAURANTS
Chartres is a very charming little town with quite a few charming little eateries. There are almost 10 restaurants just around the Cathedral, which all have outdoor seating with a view of the Cathedral. 
We had the Vegetarian Burger at Cafe Bleu which was delicious and very very filling. I mean one burger with its fries and salad was enough for both me and Atyudarini. Their Autumn Bowl is very comforting as well with 
One of the best restaurants in Chartres that you shouldn't miss is Crêperie Les Trois Lys which specializes in crepes. I had the La Fermiere which was topped with goat cheese, honey, walnuts, and greens. It had a delicate taste and was absolutely yummy. For the kids, Crêperie Les Trois Lys has typical toppings like apples, bananas, chocolate, caramel, maple syrup, etc. 
All that said, it might be rather difficult for vegans something. The base of the crepes has eggs and the burger has cheese. The autumn bowl is purely vegan though. So, you might have to hunt around a bit if you're a vegan in Chartres.

CHARTRES BEER
While France may not be a beer capital like Belgium or Germany but more of a Champagne wine country, when you're in Chartres make sure to try Chartres beer. If you're a Friends fan, you might recognize it from the poster in Joey's apartment in the episode 'The One with the Worst Best Man' as well as from the Friends Reunion episode!!! 

CHARTRES ITINERARY
24 hours is Chartres
Day 1 afternoon: Visit International Stained Glass Center and then take the guided tour of the Towers & Roofs of Chartres Cathedral; finally see the interiors of Chartres Cathedral at your own pace.
Day 1 night: Experience Chartres en Lumieres
Day 2 morning: Visit Maison Picassiette & walk around the town & along the river.

Best things to do in Chartres

Chartres en Lumieres walking route

Chartres Beer Pancakes

Day trips from Paris to Chartres by train

HOW TO REACH CHARTRES
Chartres is located close to Paris and is easy to visit on a day trip from Paris or even from Lille. That said, if you have a car, it is easy to visit Chartres on a day trip to Chartres from Brussels itself (the ride takes about 4 hours from Brussels). But, if you don't have a car, Chartres is a perfect weekend trip from Brussels.

How to reach Chartres from Paris by train?
From Paris Montparnasse railway station, there are regular trains to Chartres. Keep in mind that there are slow trains that take about 1:25 hours & fast trains that take just 1 hour.

How to reach Chartres from Brussels by train/bus?
Since Chartres is located very very close to Paris, the only way to reach Chartres is via Paris. While the Thalys is always available from Brussels to Paris, if you're looking for an economical option you may opt for a TGV via Lille or Flixbus. In any of these cases, you reach either Paris Gare du Nord, Paris Gare de Lyon, or Paris Bercy Seine. You'll have to get to Paris Montparnasse from these places to get the train to Chartres. 
Ideally, set aside a bit more than 1 hour between the 2, though it takes only 20-30 mins. While you could buy a ticket on board Paris buses, if you take a metro, the queue at the vending machines is so long in the main stations! If everyone in your group has a loaded Navigo card or if you are a group of only adults and have NFC payments possible on all your phones and have the Bonjour RATP App ready, you could skip these queues. But if you have kids with you or if your phone doesn't support NFC and you don't have a Navigo card, you'll have to stand in this queue to get the tickets! Set aside a considerable amount of time for this! I wish I was joking, but I'm not!

TRANSPORT WITHIN CHARTRES
Quite weirdly, like in many other places like Reims or Lorsch, where the local transport of smaller towns is often not shown in Google Maps, here too, the local transport called Filibus isn't shown on Google Maps! There is no way to buy tickets online or a day pass, so you must get a ticket on board every trip. It is a good idea to carry coins or small denomination Euros!

Filibus network map: via Filibus (opens/downloads as a PDF)

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT CHARTRES?
While a day trip to Chartres is good anytime, one of the most important things to do in Chartres is the Chartres en Lumieres, which needs an overnight stay (or a very late return journey by car (because there are no trains))! That said, Maison Picassiete is closed from mid-November to mid-March. While April to mid-Nov is good to visit Chartres, the best time to visit Chartres is definitely Oct 1 to Nov 15 (when the Chartres en Lumieres timings change) on an overnight trip.

 Chartres en Lumieres Pinterest Chartres Cathedral UNESCO World heritage sites france pinterest

Best Chartres Hotels | Le Grand Monarque Pinterest Top things to do in Chartres


Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands

6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this detailed post and the wonderful pictures of the Chartres Cathedral. I have been thinking about a visit literally for ages. I guess once I make it there, I would take several tours of the cathedral. I have read there are special tours also for the glass-stained windows and for the sculptures on the facade. I also enjoyed reading about other sightseeing points in Chartres, like the beautiful Maison Picassiete.

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  2. So why is it blue? You asked the question the heading of that section, but then I didn't see an answer? Was it the materials they used in the medieval stained glass?

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  3. Chartres is such a beautiful town! The cathedral is breathtaking, by day and at night with the wonderful lights. The maison is also charming, and reminds me a local place to us in northern Italy. It sounds like a great day trip from Paris, I will visit someday when we return.

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  4. I love when lights are projected onto a building so that you get a totally different view of the facade. The Chartres Cathedral may be beautiful during the day. But it is delightful at night! It would definitely be worth a climb up the spiral staircase for those views. If I could pull myself away from the stunning stained glass. We would certainly visit to see the church. But the mosaics are fun and colourful too. Good to know you can visit Chartres as a day trip from Paris. But that we might want to make sure we are on the faster train!

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  5. How fascinating to learn that the stained-glass windows at Chartres Cathedral were dismantled and numbered to preserve them during war time. It's truly our blessing! I also find it amazing that in this modern day and age, we can't seem to recreate that magnificent Chartres blue prepared with cobalt in Medieval times. We think we are so smart, but ancient cultures certainly do have their mysteries! Also, I'm infatuated with the mosaics at Maison Picassiette... I really must get to Chartres!

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  6. Wow! Chartres Cathedral en Lumiere is sooo beautiful. Happy to know that it's part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France. It is definitely worth the visit. Thank you for sharing a bit of its history. Made me appreciate it more.

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