This week in Christian history: Crusading pope born, famous cathedral consecrated, influential theologian dies

Chartres Cathedral consecrated — October 24, 1260

Chartes Cathedral
Chartres Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Chartres, France. |

This week marks the anniversary of when the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, also called Chartres Cathedral, was officially consecrated at a ceremony attended by French King Louis IX.

Located about 50 miles southeast of Paris, the cathedral was the last of a series of churches to be built in the town and was known as a pilgrimage site due to housing multiple relics.

In 1979, Chartres Cathedral became an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, in part because of its influence on gothic church architectural design throughout Europe.

“Built fairly rapidly and in nearly one stride, Chartres Cathedral, owing to the unity of its architecture and stained-glass, sculptured and painted decoration, constitutes the complete and perfected expression of one of the most characteristic aspects of medieval art,” notes the World Heritage Center.

“Chartres Cathedral is both a symbol and a basic building type. It is the most elucidating example one could choose to define the cultural, social and aesthetic reality of the Gothic cathedral.”

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