Chartres

The sixteenth-century Church of Saint Aignan ranks next to the cathedral
in interest. It has a fine, but somewhat worn, front, still rich in
examples of Renaissance art. More than once fire has ravaged this
church, and during the Revolution the edifice was despoiled and damaged.
Saint Aignan is the burial-place of the bishop whose name it bears.
There are many stained windows in the church. The interior is in other
respects somewhat plain.

There are some interesting old churches in Chartres. In the Church of
San Pierre there are dazzling stained windows which should be seen by
the visitor, as they are among the finest examples in Chartres. There is
an old portal on the north side, and the great buttresses should be
noted. Many of the decorations of the interior were destroyed by the
Revolution.

There are some old houses of historical and architectural interest in
Chartres, and one will be seen near Saint Aignan’s.

The Museum is in the town hall. Among the objects of interest collected
here are some examples of tapestry that were formerly in the cathedral.
There are also many relics of the Roman days. In the library are several
old missals.

Chartres is the birthplace of two poets, Desportes and Mathurin Regnier,
his nephew. Desportes, born in 1546, travelled in Italy and Poland, and
was court bard to Henri III. He died in 1606. Mathurin Regnier was a
poet of a higher order. He composed a number of fine satires and many
lyrical poems.

A general impression of Chartres is gained by following the tree-shaded
walk which surrounds the old town, a promenade that gives many
delightful glimpses of the plain and of narrow ancient streets, with
here and there a trace of the crumbling walls.

Sources:

  • The Project Gutenberg EBook of Old Continental Towns, by Walter M. Gallichan