I came across a rather scathing article on the restoration of the Cathedral at Chartres recently, which reads along the lines of ‘go now, before it’s too late’. In actuality, as I discovered when I visited earlier this week, it’s either too late or too early to see the building at its best, but now might be the perfect time to visit if you want to evaluate the restoration work itself.
Notre Dame de Chartres, known to many just as ‘Chartres,’ is remarkable in a number of ways. The sheer bulk of it, astounding as you arrive on the train (if you sit on the left hand side from Paris), is impressive, and the cathedral completely dominates the town. While the area’s quite built up now, one can imagine easily how spectacular it would have been, seen from a distance looming across fields, to medieval pilgrims. It’s still incredible.