French Art & Culture

The city of Chartres is a treasure house for lovers of art, centred around the gothic Cathédrale de Notre Dame, whose stained-glass windows depict biblical scenes, and feature the unique ‘bleu de Chartres‘. The city abounds in buildings of historical significance like the elegant Préfecture, where wartime Resistance leader, Jean Moulin, was Prefect at the beginning of World War II.

Chartres is also well-known as the home of 20th century naïve artist, Raymond Isidore, a manual worker, who created La Maison Picassiette, a house and garden covered with intricate mosaics of broken crockery – well worth a visit.

There are many places of cultural significance in the environs of Chartres. Monet’s garden at Giverny and the nearby Musée des Impressionnistes are easily accessible. Also to be seen in the region are the Marcel Proust Museum at Illiers, the village on which the writer based the fictional Combray, and the Château de Maintenon, residence of Mme de Maintenon, mistress of Louis XIV.