Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Chartres, 1

It took us (Vicki) just an afternoon to move back into Le Duc, get everything sorted and put up, and rigged for running. Next morning, the 21st, we set forth for Chartres, on the way, Vicki said, to Calais. The countryside, like most of France, is agricultural, bucolic, and the rolling hills of wheat were verdant. You can buy baguettes pretty much anywhere in the western world, but none are so good as the ones made, that day, in France. At length, the mismatched spires appeared and we drove right into town and easily found a parking place along the river, just down and southwest of the great cathedral. The greatest, some would say. We've been visiting Chartres since 1979--we almost never miss it when we're in France--but it's losing its charm, for us at least, as we see so many other cathedrals, and as the cleaning process, of windows and stone, continues its way. It just doesn't look like Chartres anymore, inside, too clean and bright here, too dark and dirty there. Outside, it's pretty much the same as always, one of the greatest, to be sure. Just enter Chartres in the search box for some of my more conventional posts on the cathedral, its architecture, windows, sculpture, and so on.
View from the car park

First thing we saw upon entering was this...some scores of people lined up, processing
slowly, how slowly, through the great maze on the floor; turns out this is the
cathedral's new money-maker: 10E and you get to do the maze; allow two hours, plus
extra time in the line to begin

The line to get in the Maze got longer and longer...

I didn't see anyone on hands and knees, as the Medievals would have done it;
but quite a few were shoe-less; hmmm, those red New Balances look like my

Back to the cathedral: the west windows

The east chancel windows

In the west, the ever popular Tree of Jesse window; it's not
a tree, you know...

Here's a good example of the difference in cleaning

The Mary Magdalen window; here she is cleaning JC's feet

And here she is stepping off the boat as she relocated to France (wine was cheaper)

Pretty stunning south nave example of Chartres blue

Clerestory and vaulting to the north nave; nice and tidy; but does not show the
windows off like the old grease and grime did

Of rather more interest to us that the religious, um, content, is the social history
embodied in the windows; of Chartres' 102 window, 42 were given by the city's
many guilds; here, stone masons

North transept windows

St. Centaur (from the astrology window)

Not sure what these guys are doing, but evidently they gave a window

More differential cleaning

Nice interior grotesques, just before the chancel, freshly repainted

This window given by sinners in Hell (nyuk, nyuk)

More stone cutters, masons...

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