Chartres cathedral : the north portal

The Illuminated Stone

Slip into the shoes of the Chartres inhabitants and travelers of the 13th century. Discover the north portal of Notre-Dame Cathedral as it appeared to them at the time, in all its polychrome splendor, now lost.

See the contours of the stone light up before your eyes. The blue, gold, vermilion tones... characteristic of the medieval palette gradually dress up the smallest details of the north portal of the cathedral with the delicacy of the illuminations of the time. The different characters of the Bible awaken and expose themselves to the eyes. The stone is forgotten and disappears.

The statuary regains its former splendor and in the center of the portal, the Virgin, shining, is revealed in the heart of an arch of light. All this in an intimate atmosphere intensified by the closed configuration of the site and the majesty of the Chartres cathedral.

Artistic design : : Spectaculaires, Les Allumeurs d’images – Franck Marty and Benoît Quero

A little history

The cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres is one of the largest in France and one of the first French sites to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. Since its first construction, 5 versions followed one another, until the cathedral we know today, which dates from the 13th century. An accidental fire in 1836 destroyed the old wooden frame. The entirely rebuilt roof in cast iron with a copper covering is now one of its particularities. Chartres Cathedral also has the richest and most complete collection of ancient stained glass windows in the world with 172 windows spread over 2600m2.

Dates and times

The 21 sites of Chartres en lumières are illuminated EVERY, night from dusk to 1am (11.30pm from the 27 October), until 5th January 2025.

The lighting of the illuminations varies according to the time of nightfall.

  • April: around 9.30 pm / 9.45 pm
  • May: around 10 pm / 10.15 pm
  • June: around 10.30 pm / 10.45 pm
  • July : around 10.45 pm / 10.30 pm
  • August : around 10.15pm / 9.45pm
  • September: around 9.30pm / 9.15pm
  • October: around 9pm / 6.30 from 27 October
  • November: around 6.15pm / 6pm
  • December: 5.45pm
  • January : 5.45pm