A Week In France (2/8)


These pictures were taken when Mark and I drove around northern France during September 2008.





On Monday morning after an overnight stay in Dreux we drove to Chartres where we visited the cathedral, a 12th century UNESCO listed masterpiece of Gothic architecture. If you place the cursor on the picture you will see a closeup of the clock tower, built by Jean de Beauce in the 16th century.









The front of the cathedral is lavishly decorated with carved figures - this doorway, the Royal Portal, shows only a tiny fraction of them.









Inside the cathedral the floor is laid out as a labyrinth or maze. Christians interpret it as a symbol of the path leading from earth to God. There are other examples at Amiens, Saint-Quentin, and Poitiers but this one at Chartres at 40 feet in diameter is regarded as one of the greatest and most beautiful.









Later on Monday evening we arrived at Cluis. The following day we visited Lower Cluis's 13th century fortress.









Cluis was once on the border of the Kingdom of France and the Duchy of Aquitaine which, under the Plantagenets, belonged to the English throne. Here I am pretending to be king of the castle.



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