- Period of construction：12th to 13th century C.E.
- Location： Chartres, France
- Scale：l / 50
The history of the Christian Church is one of sacrifice, struggle, victory, and
triumph. Churches of early Christian history were small and modest, with emphasis
on interior church decoration. However, the growth in power and prestige of the
Church gave way to more intricate and elaborate building designs that sought to
present the Kingdom of God on Earth. This is especially the case from the twelfth
and thirteenth centuries, with Christianity's most important development in architecture—the
Chartres Cathedral is located in the city of Chartres, northern France, on the banks
of the Eure River. The Cathedral was built from 1145 to 1170 C.E., but after a devastating
fire, the main structure of the current cathedral, with its characteristic two distinct
bell towers of differing size and dimensions, was built from 1194 to 1260.
As with most Gothic architecture, Chartres Cathedral contains slender stone pillars
in combination with narrow ribs of pointed arches that help support the building's
cross vaults. Stone columns connected to exterior walls, known as flying buttresses,
were also added to support the weight's main thrust, helping to raise the height
of the building, creating more room for sculpture, and making it possible for the
emergence of larger window designs.
The interior of Chartres Cathedral is designed in the shape of a traditional Latin
cross. The middle section of the floor contains a labyrinth design, while the eastern
side of the cathedral connects to Aspe Chapel, or Parte absidle, which houses relics
of the saints.
The main entrance to the West facade consists of three arched doorways, or portals.
These portals contain several lifelike figure carvings of thin bodies with serene
expressions, and with fluent, gracefully flowing robes. The right portal contains
a carving depicting the birth of the Christ Child, the left portal depicts Christ's
Ascension into heaven, and the central portal contains a carving of the Resurrection.
On the North facade of the church, the sculptures of the tympanum present the theme
of, "the coronation of the Virgin", while carvings of the South facade portals praise
Jesus Christ, His disciples, martyrs, saints, and angels, together with demons,