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Chartres Cathedral consecrated — Oct. 24, 1260

Chartres Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Chartres, France. | Wikimedia Commons/Olvr

This week marks the anniversary of when the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, a prominent church building located about 50 miles from Paris, was officially consecrated.

During the Medieval era, Chartres Cathedral was a popular pilgrimage site. It reportedly held items like the tunic (also called the “Holy Chemise”) that the Virgin Mary wore when she gave birth to Jesus.

“Some alterations were made in the following centuries. The spire on the northern of the two west towers, the taller of them, was struck by lightning in 1506 and replaced,” wrote Richard Cavendish of History Today.

“During the French Revolution the building was not seriously damaged, but the Holy Chemise was taken away and torn to pieces. Part of it was recovered afterward and is kept in the cathedral today.”

In 1979, Chartres Cathedral became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, partly because of its considerable influence on gothic church architectural design in Europe.

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