Chartres Cathe­dral

Tehran Times - - HERITAGE & TOURISM -

Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathe­dral, lo­cated in the Cen­treVal-de-Loire re­gion in France, is one of the most au­then­tic and com­plete works of re­li­gious ar­chi­tec­ture of the early 13th cen­tury.

It was the des­ti­na­tion of a pil­grim­age ded­i­cated to the Vir­gin Mary, among the most pop­u­lar in all me­dieval Western Chris­tian­ity. Be­cause of the unity of its ar­chi­tec­ture and dec­o­ra­tion, the re­sult of re­search of the first Gothic era, its im­mense in­flu­ence on the art of Mid­dle Age Chris­tian­ity, Chartres Cathe­dral ap­pears as an es­sen­tial land­mark in the his­tory of me­dieval ar­chi­tec­ture.

The out­stand­ing stained-glass en­sem­ble, mon­u­men­tal stat­u­ary of the 12th and 13th cen­turies and the painted dec­o­ra­tions mirac­u­lously pre­served from the rav­ages of hu­mankind and time, make Chartres one of the most ad­mirable and the best-pre­served ex­am­ples of Gothic art.

The west façade built around the mid­dle of the 12th cen­tury, with its three por­tals whose splays are dec­o­rated with statue col­umns (Royal Por­tail), its two tow­ers, its south­ern spire and its three large in­com­pa­ra­ble stained-glass win­dows, com­prise an au­then­tic and com­plete ex­am­ple that re­mains with us of this art cre­ated at St De­nis, and which marked the ad­vent of an orig­i­nal mode of plas­tic ex­pres­sion, known as the Gothic style.

A lit­tle later, the nave and the choir, re­con­structed as of 1194, ef­fected for the first time an ar­chi­tec­tural for­mula which would be widely em­ployed through­out the 13th cen­tury.

The mon­u­men­tal sculp­tures of Chartres Cathe­dral are val­ued both for their abun­dance and for their qual­ity.

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