Saturday, July 14, 2012


Our first real tourist activity was to visit the town of Chartres, about an hour or so from Paris. Chartres is a very old town, and is the home to a famous cathedral. The cathedral of Chartres has its origins in the 4th century. The current building was completed around 1230!

We followed the signs to the cathedral (I'll probably have another post about navigating by sign in France) and drove around until we found a parking spot. We were struggling with the machine to pay for parking when a nice French woman walking by informed us that we did not have to pay around lunch time which is when we had arrived. Score!

We walked along a small river past some of the most picturesque houses I've seen. We finally came to a bridge and crossed over the river where we took a few pictures:

Nathan on the bridge to the old town in Chartres

A pond viewed from the bridge

Another view of the river

Once we crossed the bridge, we were into old Chartres proper.  I have no idea how old the buildings were, but I can't imagine that some of them weren't at least 300 years old. Here is one that I liked a lot:

A nifty house in Chartres

This building appeared to be someone's house. I know this because I took a peek into one of the windows and saw some guy watching television!

Here are a few other photos of the old town of Chartres: In the first one, they took a super awesome old building and made it into a laundromat. In the US, this building would have been on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

You've got to wash your clothes somewhere!

Apparently I like the Tudor style

After going up a big hill, we arrived at the cathedral itself.  It was ginormous and unbelievably impressive.

This is the SIDE entrance for
crying out loud!

This was a nice chapel in the church

Lots of saints and others holding up
the building!

One of the actual front doors; they are
moving in supplies for a renovation

A view from below

For some reason, the two spires on the cathedral are completely different. I didn't ask why, but it is quite interesting to see.

Anyway, I could have taken a million more photos in Chartres, but I was not quite fully into tourist mode yet. I can say that both Nathan and I were pretty psyched. We knew that Chartres was certainly a great stop, but we had many, many more quaint villages, historic sites, and architectural wonders to see during our trip to France.

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