Chartres, about 80km south-west of Paris was (sort of) on the way to Dinan so we thought we would take advantage of having the car to take a detour there. The cathedral is considered one of the finest examples in France of Gothic architecture.
Surrounded by a maze (literally) of tiny one way streets which we comically navigated our way through – seriously, it was like an Amazing Race episode – we could see the cathedral and seemed to be fairly close but just could not for the life of us figure out how to get there – the cathedral stands majestically. We ended up leaving the town and re-entering, following the blue “P Cathédrale” signs. It has two remarkable spires – one is 105m high and looks relatively plain compared to the much more intricate (and slightly taller at 113m high) left spire.
The cathedral is noted for its beautiful stained glass windows, including the three large Rose Windows. Much of the stained glass was removed from the church during World War II and stored in the surrounding countryside and returned to the church after the war. The cathedral was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1979.
Well worth a detour if you’re in the vicinity – just remember, follow the blue “P” signs otherwise you will be driving around in circles. Literally and figuratively!