Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Philatelic Photograph: Cathedral of Chartres - Chartres, France

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Spires of the Cathedral of Chartres
Chartres, France
Topic: Philatelic Photographs

GPS: N48° 26.834; W001° 29.224

Quick Description: 

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral located about 80 kilometres from of Paris. The magnificient Cathedral was constructed between 1194 and 1250.

Long Description:

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The current cathedral, mostly constructed between 1194 and 1250, is the last of at least five which have occupied the site since the town became a bishopric in the 4th century.

The church has an interesting history. It was begun in 1134, destroyed by fire in 1194, and then rebuilt. What remained after the fire were the lower parts of the west towers and the west portal. West façade is dominated by two assymetrical spires. The south spire is completely original. It is a 349' (105m) high plain Romanesque pyramid dating from the 1140s. The flamboyant north spire is 377' (113m) high and exhibits a combination of late Gothic and early Renaissance chacteristics. It was built on top of an older tower.

The cathedral survived the French Revolution in an exceptional state of preservation. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact. The façades, are adorned with hundreds of sculpted figures based on theological themes.

The stamp was issued by France on August 13, 1979 as part of a set of four pre-cancelled stamps depicting significant French spires.

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