Chartres in Lights: the beginning
Chartres in Lights has become one of the major events in the city, through its spectacular night tour, and reveals monuments and major attractions highlighted and put in music.
The Lights of Chartres event has been animating the city for the past 14 years. The first Celebration of Light took place in 2002 and quickly became one of the city's most remarkable events, attracting tourists from around the world. Approximately one million visitors are expected each year.
The words of...
Jean-Pierre Gorges – Mayor of Chartres
“With 2 million tourists registered each year, Chartres remains one of the most quoted cities in France throughout the world. It owes this spotlight to its exceptionally rich history, which has endowed it with a remarkable and internationally renowned heritage.
The cathedral, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the keystone of a sublime architectural panorama that includes no less than 25 churches in addition to major archaeological sites. Since 2003, we have made the Chartrain heritage a formidable adventure. Subjected to a scenographic work resolutely turned towards light and its symbolism, it is explored, revealed, revisited.
We have made its past a shimmering present. Chartres is today « the Capital of Light and Perfume ». A title the city honours annually from April to October and which already attracts more than a million visitors in search of eternity.”
Laurent Lhuillery – Municipal councillor, entrusted with the enhancement of the city's heritage through light
“Chartres is known as « the Capital of Lights (and Perfume) » thanks to the world-famous windows of its cathedral and the beautiful evening skies of the region of Beauce in autumn. In 2002, we wanted to extend this reputation and help visitors discover all of Chartres' heritage, including a great number of architectural treasures. For this, we wanted to use modern technology and show that we can combine ancient heritage and innovation. Many local people and businesses immediately joined the project. Chartres was the first city to highlight its heritage with light. It is now part of LUCI, the international network of cities on urban lighting.
This event is made possible by the involvement of municipal services and the support of local business partners as well as the local residents of Chartres.”