Posts in Architecture

Chartres Cathedral: A Pilgrimage Through Time and Light

No Cathedral Pilgrimage in France would be complete without a stop in Chartres. The city was the most important intellectual center in 12th-century France, and Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is arguably the best-preserved Gothic Cathedral from that period. Additionally, Chartres was a starting point for the main pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, originating in […]

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres

While not exactly close to Chartres, staying in Rouen put us within striking distance of one of the world’s most outstanding examples of Gothic architecture – Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. It is undoubtedly the best-preserved Gothic cathedral in France. Chartres is an hour west of Paris, which is a perfect place from which to visit […]

Rouen Treasures

Rouen was the most prolonged stay on our cathedral pilgrimage. It was a perfect home base with three unique Gothic churches, beautiful architecture around every corner, magnificent museums, a rich history, and a strategic location to explore other cathedrals. Staying in the hyper-center of the city immersed us in all these treasures. We stayed in […]

3:10 to Gothic

Rouen’s rich history is reflected in its magnificent architecture. A treasure trove of half-timbered, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau, and Gothic buildings dominate the cityscape. For history and architecture enthusiasts, Rouen does not disappoint. Within a ten-minute walk, you can encounter three outstanding Gothic churches. The first of these Gothic masterpieces naturally is Cathédrale Notre-Dame de […]

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen

The site on which Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen sits has hosted a church from at least the 4th century. The Cathedral has undergone multiple building projects since that period. As a result, the present structure has Early Gothic, Late Flamboyant, and Renaissance elements. An all-star cast of famous historical visitors graced the Cathedral with their […]

Fifth Stop – Rouen

Our brief visit to Beauvais and Cathédrale Saint-Pierre was a happy detour on our way to Rouen, the capital of Normandy. After Paris, Rouen is the third largest city in France and sits on the same river as Paris, the Seine. Its location near the English Channel makes it a prosperous port city and a […]

Fourth Stop – Beauvais

The fourth stop on our cathedral pilgrimage was more of a pause than an extended visit. Rouen was technically our next destination, but we could not pass up the chance to visit Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais since it was on the way. Beauvais’ cathedral has the highest Gothic choir in the world (48.5 meters or […]

Amiens: A City of History, Art, and Culture

We spent a week in Amiens during our cathedral pilgrimage. Since our trip focused on cathedrals, religious sites, and French history, Amiens gave us a lot of bang for the buck. Of course, the Cathedral drew us here, but it was marvelous exploring the city, too. Our narrow purpose necessarily kept us from experiencing many […]

Enchanted Chanting

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens is the third of the great cathedrals built in northern France during the thirteenth century (the others being the cathedrals in Reims and Chartres). Besides being the largest Gothic cathedral in France, it has an impressive set of medieval sculptures on its facade and many old polychrome sculptures inside. But the […]

Soaring Vaults and Great Treasures

We planned to make the city and cathedral of Amiens a particular focus for our cathedral pilgrimage. Besides Rouen, we spent the most time exploring here than any other church or place in France. I initially considered spending our whole time exploring Chartres Cathedral, arguably the best-preserved Gothic cathedral in the country. That would have […]