24.10.

1260: Chartres Cathedral – The “Bible in Stone”

1260: Chartres Cathedral – The “Bible in Stone”
Photo Credit To http://www.terranostra.at/02_begehungen/labyrinth_chartres.jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event:
  • Many people know of the cathedral's famous labyrinth (pictured), which is located on the floor of the main nave. The labyrinth is around 800 years old, has 11 circles, and is intended for pilgrims, who once used to make their way through the labyrinth on their knees.

One of the most famous cathedrals in the world, the Notre-Dame de Chartres, was consecrated on this day in 1260. It is considered a true masterpiece of high gothic architecture. For example, the southern tower is 105 meters tall, but was built during the 1140s, using only stone and medieval mortar.

It is interesting that the consecration ceremony was attended by St. Louis IX, the only French king in history who was declared a saint of the Catholic Church. His reign represented the golden age of medieval France. He was considered an ideal Christian ruler, and many later French kings were named in his honor.

The Chartres Cathedral is famous for its labyrinth, which is located on the floor of the main nave. The labyrinth is around 800 years old, has 11 circles, and is intended for pilgrims, who once used to make their way through the labyrinth on their knees as a form of penance. Due to its many twists and turns, the labyrinth is actually around 262 meters long. It allegedly took a pilgrim around one hour to cross this distance on his knees.

Due to its many sculptures and stained-glass windows, the Chartres Cathedral is sometimes called the “Bible in Stone”. It is widely considered one of the best examples of medieval art, especially that of the gothic period.

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