View of Chartres Cathedral from a distance overlooking the city
Photo by: Joe Shlabotnik, Creative Commons
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, also known as the Chartres Cathedral of France, is situated about 80 kilometers southwest of Paris. It is one of the most recognized churches in the entire country and it is also one of the most visited Gothic churches in France.
The Chartres Cathedral of France was built in the 16th century. It stands atop a hill which makes it visible from a distance. There are two spires which help make it visible from far away, one of which measures 349 feet tall and the other measures 377 feet tall. It is surrounded on either side by wheat fields, too.
As for the history of the cathedral, it served as a big landmark for the public and also for the nearby visitors. All important activities were centered around the cathedral. It was a common place for pilgrims to visit when they grew old and it also served as a hospital for the sick. Many different kinds of workmen also frequented the cathedral to find jobs for themselves. Sometimes during the Middle Ages, the cathedral worked as the marketplace, despite the objections of the priests. In fact, the priests would not even allow those who sold wine into the crypt.