What to do in Chartres ?
Located at the gates of Paris and the Châteaux de la Loire, Chartres enjoys an international reputation thanks to its Cathedral which belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The city of Chartres has a rich history that goes back to the Neolithic era. From the Roman period, Autricum (romanized name of Chartres which comes from the Gallic tribe of the Carnuts) is an important place but it is especially in the Middle Ages that the city becomes a political, religious and military place of first plan.
Chartres is divided into two parts in medieval times, the upper town with the castle, the cathedral and the lower town that combine economic activity related to the river as the tannery mills.
The Cathedral resists to the French Revolution, despite the damage of the 1st and 2nd World War, the city has preserved a beautiful historical heritage.
You may start with the little train of « Char’trains » (located on the Cathedral Square) by a picturesque tour that will take you to the old town.
From April to October, every night until 1 a.m., discover the major event of the city, « Chartres en Lumières ».
Through its spectacular nocturnal path, the city reveals its monuments and unmissable highlighted and musical sites.
For a touristic stay visits are not lacking in Chartres, enjoy your stay at the hotel Jehan de Beauce to discover the city:
- The Cathedral is obviously a must,
- The crypt of Cathedral dating back to the Romanesque era is a splendor,
- The north tower of the Cathedral offers an exceptional viewpoint more than 60 meters high,
- The St. Aignan’s Church(St. Aignan Square) to see for its windows of the 16th and 17th century,
- St. Pierre’s Church (St. Pierre’s Square) former abbey, masterpiece of Gothic art,
- International Stained Glass Center (Cardinal Pie street),
- Museum of Beaux-Arts located in the old episcopal palace and rich of various works (cloister Notre-Dame)
- Museum of Natural Sciences and Prehistory (Courtille Boulevard)
- For lovers of nature there are many choices :
A moment of relaxation : the Parc des Eure is a green island where you can stroll for 3 km or introduce yourself to the joys of canoeing, pedalo or boat.
- Little Venice near the Cathedral at the water’s edge,
- The gardens of the Bishopric,
- The Medieval Garden of the Collegiate Church of St. André,
- André Gagnon Park and its magnificent Rose Garden,
- Sakurai’s Gardens,
- The horticultural garden and its ornamental ducks,
- The city of Chartres also has a strong reputation for its craftsmen, its glassmakers, its antique dealers, its gastronomy and it is at the heart of the Cosmetic Valley which explains its love of perfume.
The Vitrail Gallery (Cloister Notre-Dame) offers for sale many books and original creations of stained glass from workshops of the Loire.
For lovers of contemporary art, the « Chemin des Arts » brings together 3 galleries and a workshop:
- The contemporary mosaics gallery (St. Eman Chapel),
- St. André’s Collegiate Church,
- The contemporary art gallery (Prieuré St. Vincent),
- Contemporary art workshop (Massacre street),
- Do not forget to try the famous Mentchikoff (from Russia, it is the alliance of the meringue and chocolate in a candy), the pâté de Chartres , the Eurélienne (beer brewed locally), the Poule-au-Pot and the sablé de Beauce.
And for more discoveries, the Eure-et-Loir region is rich of a varied monuments like :
- The Château of Maintenon,
- The Abbey of Thiron-Gardais,
- The Bois-Richeux Farm in Pierres,
- The Pré Catelan in Illiers-Combray,
- The Royal St. Louis Chapel in Dreux,
- The House of Tante Léonie and the Marcel Proust museum in Illiers-Combray,
- The St. Orien Church in Meslay-Le-Grenet,
- The Maintenon Aqueduct, ordered by Louis XIV,
- The Château of Villebon,
- The Château of Anet.
The Chartres cinema « Les Enfants du paradis » (10 rooms), theaters (Théâtre de Chartres, Théâtre du Portail Sud, Théâtre de Poche and Théâtre du Seuil) are also available during your stay.