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Chartres, city of Eure-et-Loir, is famous for its history and heritage. Famous for its cathedral, discover also its districts and its specialities during a stroll in the city!
The spires of Chartres cathedral are a landmark in the whole region and can be seen from twenty kilometres away. The city will serve as your "base camp" for the weekend. From there you can visit the Château de Maintenon, Lavardin (one of the most beautiful villages in France) and the garden of Le Plessis Sasnières, among others...
On the spot, take the opportunity to see, or see again, the Cathedral. Built between the 12th and 13th centuries, this masterpiece of Gothic art brings together 4000 sculpted figures and 5000 characters staged in the 2600m2 of period stained glass windows. There is always something to discover!
At the end of the Cathedral take a back exit to get to the Bishopric gardens. Pass the 18th century wrought iron gate, your steps will lead you to the Museum of Fine Arts, formerly the Episcopal Palace. From this high point you can see the windows of the crypt, or rather here an underground church. And you will have a magnificent panorama of the lower city.
On the other side, facing the south portal of the cathedral, in the old town, the parallel streets of the merchants' quarter have kept the names of the trades they once hosted. The Rue aux Herbes and the Rue aux Changes cut off the Rue au lait to join the Rue de la Petite Cordonnerie. On the fish market square you will pass in front of the salmon house. Recognizable by its sign, a big fish carved in wood, it is the current tourist office of the city.
Remember to bring back a box of Mentchikoff, a praline chocolate coated with Swiss meringue that was created in 1893 at the time of the Franco-Russian alliance. One of the best is still at the Maison Ioos. Take the opportunity to taste the choupinettes, small colourful cabbages, before taking a stroll through the pedestrian streets.
Book your evening for the Chartres en lumières show. Every year, from mid-April to mid-October, the cathedral and the facades of the historic city centre are used as the backdrop for a magical lighting show. It is free, open to all, and the scenography highlights the beauty of these monuments of the past. An experience you will remember.