"Visit Virign Mary's "TUNIC" in Chartres, France" Chartres Things to Do Tip by jumpingnorman

Chartres Things to Do: 161 reviews and 508 photos

  Off to see Virgin Mary's Tunic in Chartres, France
by jumpingnorman

There is an interesting legend haunting the Cathedral - since 876 the Cathedral's site has housed a tunic that was said to have belonged to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sancta Camisia. Legend has it that the relic was supposedly given to the Cathedral by Charlemagne who received it as a gift during a crusade in Jerusalem. In fact, the relic was a gift from Charles the Bald and it has been asserted that the fabric came from Syria and that it had been woven during the first century AD.

My wife and I looked at the tunic while the 3-year old twins roamed around the Cathedral (in silence under our stern instructions). But even more impressive are the windows --- and so we kept looking at the huge blue circular stained windows above us...

Chartres is noted for its many large stained glass windows, renowned for their vivid blue colour - especially in a representation of the Madonna and Child known as the Blue Virgin Window, a traditional iconography know as the Seat of Wisdom.

"Dating from the early 13th century, the glass largely escaped harm during the religious wars of the 16th century; it is said to constitute one of the most complete collections of medieval stained glass in the world, despite "modernization" in 1753 when some of it was removed by well-intentioned but misguided clergy. Of the original 186 stained glass windows, 152 survive." Thirty-four lost forever!

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 28, 2009
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