Today we’ve rolled into city number 22 which is Chartres. Himself has decreed he doesn’t wish us to turn into softies by staying at too many paid for campsites, so you’ve guessed it, we are parked up in a car park (48°25’59.13″N 1°29’36.66″E) which is super close to a campsite… such a tease.
To give the car park it’s due, GerTee does have a view across the water meadow towards the twin spires of Chartres Cathedral which would actually be rather pleasant if it would just stop raining. Heavy showers are forecast for the rest of today so we tog up in coats and boots for a speedy visit to the Cathedral.
Someone in their wisdom has decided to dig up and reconstruct half the city, meaning numerous rain filled pot holes have to be weaved in and out of in order to prevent a nasty case of trench foot.
Cathedrale Notre Dame is famous worldwide carrying UNESCO world heritage status and is currently undergoing some major internal restoration work. Beginning life as a Celtic site of worship then later built on by the Romans, eventually it completed it’s transformation in the 12th century only to be destroyed by fire then rebuilt again to it’s current grandeur.
Probably the finest stained glass we have seen, although I fear we may have said that before about a previous Cathedral visit somewhere!! A lot of the famous Chartres blue glass has been used which we are informed can no longer now be replicated.
Some of it’s history is very interesting including having had all the glass removed in 1939 prior to the German invasion which probably was no mean feat. Also the Americans had an order to destroy it in 1944 as they had information that German troops were occupying it. Colonel Welborn Barton Griffith Jnr. questioned this strategy and volunteered to go behind enemy lines to ascertain any truth to this. He made it safely in and out, reporting it was all clear therefore the order to destroy it was withdrawn. Sadly Griffith was killed later that same day in the town of Leves not far from Chartres.
It’s still raining on and off so we decide to miss out on looking at the historic centre for maybe another time and squelch our way back to our car park.