10 largest cities in France




Chartres is a French commune, prefecture of the department of Eure-et-Loir, in the Center-Val de Loire region. The city is located about ninety kilometers from Paris (center). It is nicknamed "Capital of light and perfume".

According to the 2016 census, the town has 38,752 inhabitants. In 2015, the agglomeration community of Chartres had 136,373 inhabitants and the urban area of Chartres had 146,986 inhabitants. It is the first town in the department of Eure-et-Loir and the sixth in the Center-Val de Loire region behind Tours, Orléans (the regional capital), Bourges, Blois and Châteauroux.

Chartres is traditionally a place of pilgrimage, especially on Palm Sunday for students, as well as Pentecost for the pilgrimage to Christianity. The city is also located on the Via Turonensis of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.



Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral
Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the heart of the city of Chartres in the French department of Eure-et-Loir, in the Center-Val de Loire region. Seat of the diocese of Chartres, it is one of the emblematic monuments of Gothic architecture.

Located 80 kilometers southwest of Paris, it is traditionally considered the most representative, most complete and best-preserved Gothic cathedral in France with its sculptures, stained-glass windows and paving for the most part original, although it is built with the techniques of Romanesque architecture thus showing the continuity and not the rupture between these two types of architecture.

The current cathedral, in the so-called "classical" Gothic style, was built at the beginning of the thirteenth century, for the most part in thirty years, on the ruins of a previous Romanesque cathedral, destroyed in a fire in 1194. Grand place of pilgrimage, it dominates the city of Chartres and the plain of Beauce, revealing itself to the eye from more than ten kilometers away.

The building is the subject of a classification as historical monuments by its census on the list of 1862. Moreover, it is among the first monuments registered on the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1979.


Picassiette House

The Picassiette house is an example of naive architecture made up of earthenware and glass mosaics cast in cement. It is located in Chartres and depends on the city's museum of fine arts.

The house was built by a single man Raymond Isidore (September 8, 1900 - September 7, 1964), said Picassiette, municipal employee of the city of Chartres for which he worked as a road mender, then sweeper of the cemetery.

Once his house was built, he had the idea of ​​making frescoes covering everything little by little. His life was totally devoted to the construction and decoration of his house and the garden, in particular with the help of ceramic and porcelain debris, among others the plates that he obtained in public landfills, hence his nickname "picnic".

Considered an original, Raymond Isidore received a late media coverage: in the 1950s, the press took an interest in him. But his end of life, in his space saturated with mosaics, is tragic. His inspiration dried up, himself exhausted, he experienced mental disorders. On a stormy night, he fled from home through the fields, in the grip of a delirium of the end of the world. Found and brought home, he died shortly after.


St. Peter's Church

The Saint-Pierre church is a church in Chartres (Eure-et-Loir), classified as a historic monument since 1840. Before the Revolution, it was the church of the Saint-Père-en-Vallée abbey (Father meaning here Pierre) whose remains date back to the 7th century. The church became a parish in 1803.


Collegiate Church of Saint-André

The old Saint-André collegiate church dates from the 12th century. It is located in Chartres in the French department of Eure-et-Loir and was classified as a historical monument on the 1840 list. The primitive church was built, according to tradition by Saint Aignan, on the site of a Gallo-Roman amphitheater of which we find vestiges in the walls of one of the crypts. A second building dating from the tenth century was destroyed by fire in 1134, leaving only the crypts.

Rebuilt, the Saint-André church was completed in the second half of the 12th century. At the beginning of the following century, an arch was launched over the Eure to support the choir of the building. This will be rebuilt in the sixteenth century by Jehan de Beauce. In the seventeenth century, a second arch was built in the extension of the first, spanning the rue du Massacre to support the chapel of the Virgin, thus creating a very beautiful ensemble, which also includes a canonical cloister, a Hôtel-Dieu and cemeteries. .

The Revolution closed the Saint-André church to worship in 1791. Its octagonal spire was demolished; the painting on the high altar representing the martyrdom of Saint André by Sébastien Bourdon was assigned by the consular government in 1803 to the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse. It became a fodder store until 1861.

In 1805, the chapel of the Virgin installed on the second arch collapsed, forcing, for safety reasons, to demolish the choir in 1827. In 1861, the building was seriously damaged by a first fire, then by a second in 1944. In 1905, the building housed a carpentry workshop.



Thanks to an integral restoration started in 2003, the collegiate church and its crypts find their new vocation, that of places of cultural activities now combining a quality framework with cutting-edge equipment. It is around the Saint-André church, in this populated and laborious district, that the Saint-André fair was born and developed in the Middle Ages. It still exists today, even if its location is different.