After visiting the Cathédrale de Chartres, the Husband and I still had some time left before our afternoon train back to Paris, so we decided to further explore Chartres. Before going to visit for the day, some friends had lent us a book about the town that gave us a hankering to explore some of the other cathedrals in the area. What can I say, we’re suckers for a good church (which, surprisingly, are all over the place in Chicago! Now to just figure out if its culturally acceptable here to go into a church and walk around like we do in France….).
We visited two other churches that we came across while simply meandering the streets of Chartres (which were much more quaint than those of Paris…). Our favorite church was definitely the first church — it was simply one of those magical moments that we will never forget.
I’ve always heard that cathedrals were once painted and have such have spent hours sitting in cathedrals across France, trying to imagine what they once looked like. The beauty of this particular cathedral, painted, left me almost in tears. imagine my further joy when, all of the sudden, organ music started booming around us, echoing through the beautiful passageway that we were standing in. We were all alone in the cathedral except for the mystery organist, so The Husband and I sat down to enjoy the moment, not speaking, simply soaking it all in. After about half an hour, the music stopped, and slowly a man in business attire carrying a lunch bag and a briefcase descended from the alcove and left the building with a simple “Au revoir”.
The second cathedral we visited was beautiful in a more simple, sad way. It was obvious once again that we were the only ones there, and that these other cathedrals in Chartres do not have the resources to restore them in a way that would rival the Cathédrale de Chartres. We made sure to donate whatever sous we had on us at each cathedral, but it was sad to see that these churches, as beautiful as they are, are under appreciated by the tourists that take the trek out to Chartres.