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Half day in Chartres

The family is heading to France and have a morning set aside for Chartres. We do plan to see the cathedral, hopefully on a guided tour. Any suggestions for what to see and do for 3 or 4 hours that morning?
Also, we have never travelled internationally, so I have really enjoyed reading this forum and Rick's website.

Posted by
1226 posts

Chartres is a magical city. Right next to the cathédrale is the Musée des Beaux-arts. It is lovely. And right down the street is the stained glass museum. There are plenty of quaint cafés near the cathédrale as well...and wandering arouns behind the cathédrale in the park and in the médiéval part is a great way to kill time.

Posted by
2842 posts

I second the Stained Glass Museum. Or if you choose just to wander, head downhill toward the river and wander some of the streets.

Posted by
1760 posts

There are frequent trains between Chartres and nearby Maintenon and takes between 10 to 20 minutes. Château de Maintenon there, once the home of the second wife of Louis XIV, Madame de Maintenon, is very charming and worth considering to my opinion if you have a few free hours at your disposal. As it is about a mile walking from the railway station you can take a taxi to safe time and walking.

Posted by
1015 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,

Tours of the cathedral by Malcolm Miller are famous. Well worth the small fee and the time.

I think everyone who has responded is selling short the cathedral. You will of course want to get into as soon as you arrive, and then you want to go in for a goodbye before you leave as the light will be different. A tour with Mr. Miller will give you insights into the aspects of the cathedral but won't allow you to enjoy the beauty.

Then some time will be consumed as you walk completely around the outside of the Cathedral. And you want to get a distant view of it too. That can be done while walking around the old section of town. Don't underestimate the other two substantial churches in the city.

You might want to walk the labyrinth. There is one outside. If you are really lucky the one inside on the cathedral floor will be uncovered and available.

Also if you are lucky, the farmer's market will be functioning. Usually a Wednesday/ Saturday morning event.

I am not sure, but four hours might not be enough time to so all this.

wayne inWI

Posted by
3505 posts

The church mentioned in Rick's book is lovely. It's only a short walk into town from the cathedral. I"m excited for you going on your first trip to Europe.