High place of the prefecture of Eure-et-Loir, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the best preserved Gothic sanctuary in the world, radiates a brilliance that tends to eclipse the other nuggets of local heritage. But now, for twenty years, once night has come, the operation “Chartres en lumière” opposes this putting under a bushel, inviting a stroll between illuminated sites. Starting with the media library the apostrophe, formerly Hôtel des Postes, built between 1923 and 1927 by Chartrain architect Raoul Brandon. In homage to the initial vocation of this Art Deco building, images of postal progress unfold outside, evoking the journey of a letter or the advent of the telegram…
Another universe to explore, the Lyric Theater, built in the Second Empire, where a vaudeville is played by interposed shadows. After this colorful scene, the decor of theMontescot mansion of the 17th century, the current town hall, in turn emerges from the shadows, before a little further on a cinema sequence comes to life on a mural fresco of 170 square meters. The hero is a child of the country: General Marceau, who distinguished himself by his feats of arms under the first Empire.
Then stop under the bluish halos of the Baltard-type hall, on Place Billard, where the castle of the Counts of Chartres once stood. The descent into the lower town takes the Tertre Saint-François, a pedestrian crossing. There, the Sun has an appointment with the Moon and the two stars run on the sides of theSt. Peter’s Gothic Church, with the precious set of windows. Then an exuberant slideshow of animals and vegetation animates the banks of the Eure. Along the water lined tanners, fullers, dyers, past trades whose street names still echo. As for the lighted washhouses, they mark the ascent to the Saint-André collegiate church. Built on an ancient amphitheater in the 12th century, it was completed in the 13th century by an arch spanning the river to support the choir of the church.
The Saint-Nicolas mound provides access to the upper town and the main facade of the Museum of Fine Arts. This former episcopal palace salutes in images the journey of the most famous prefect of Eure-et-Loir: Jean Moulin, a major figure in the Resistance, who died eighty years ago.
At the peak of this luminous journey, the Notre-Dame cathedral is revealed in another light, the sculptures of holy figures adorned with shimmering colors which also enhance the work of the master glassmakers of yesteryear. Dazzled, night owls will gaze at the royal portal surmounted by its two spires, magnified by two sound and light shows. One tells the story of the Beauceron city, the other pays homage to the builders of this stone and glass vessel that defies time and… darkness!