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Chartres coat of arms
Chartres (France)
region Center-Val de Loire
Department Eure-et-Loir
Arrondissement Chartres
Canton Chartres-1
Community association Chartres metropolis
Coordinates 48 ° 27 '  N , 1 ° 29'  E Coordinates: 48 ° 27 '  N , 1 ° 29'  E
height 121-161 m
surface 16.85 km 2
Residents 38,578 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 2,289 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 28000
INSEE code

Chartres [ ʃaʀtʀ ] is the prefecture capital of the Eure-et-Loir department in France . The city is located 90 kilometers southwest of Paris on a large plain in the middle of wheat fields on the Eure , a tributary of the Seine . The 38,578 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) call themselves "Chartrains". In the center of the old town is the famous Notre-Dame de Chartres cathedral .


Chartres was under the name Autricum a major site of carnutes and even before Roman times significantly. 51 BC BC the Carnutes submitted to Caesar . Under the Romans, the city belonged to the province of Gallia Lugdunensis . As early as the 4th century, it became the seat of a bishopric as Carnutum or Carnotum . The city first appears under its current name in the 12th century.

Chartres was the capital of the Beauce or Chartrain region in the early Middle Ages and gave the name to the county of Chartres , which had belonged to the House of Blois since 956/960 . In 911 the Normans besieged Chartres and in 1019 they burned it almost entirely. The county of Chartres was sold to King Philip IV in 1286 . With Bishop Fulbert von Chartres , the cathedral school developed into an important center of medieval education. Here worked u. a. Ivo of Chartres , Gilbert of Poitiers and John of Salisbury .

In 1528 King Francis I made the county of Chartres a duchy. Henry IV conquered Chartres in 1591 and was crowned here in 1594. In 1626 the Orléans family received Chartres as apanage , which is why the eldest son of the Duke of Orléans usually carried the title of Duke of Chartres . On October 21, 1870 Chartres was occupied by the 22nd Division under General Wittich and remained an important German base in the fighting against the Loire Army.

During the Second World War , the Western Allied troops landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944 ( Operation Overlord ). After breaking out of the landing head at the end of July, the US Army made a rapid advance inland with almost no resistance from the decimated German troops. On August 16, 1944, the XX. US Corps off Chartres. In this room, however, Hitler had ordered three divisions of the German 15th Army and

"... the clearing up of Chartres took three days of heavy fighting because the Americans, in order to spare the majestic cathedral, held back with the use of artillery."

- Chester Wilmot : The struggle for Europe . Book guild Gutenberg, Zurich 1955, p. 453

On August 18, 1944, the advance on the Seine was resumed.

A prisoner-of-war seminar was set up in Chartres between 1945 and 1947. It was a special kind of seminary in which German-speaking priests and seminarians were to be brought together. Abbé Franz Stock , known as the prison chaplain, was the rain of the seminary. This is how the “ barbed wire seminar ” came about, in which around 1000 young people from Germany and Austria were prepared for their future tasks in a new Europe. It was the largest seminary in the history of the Catholic Church. A European meeting place will be set up in the still-preserved building .

Population development

year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2016
Residents 31,495 34,469 38,928 37.119 39,595 40,361 40,022 38,752
Sources: Cassini and INSEE


Facade Meridionale
Portal of the
Notre-Dame de Chartres cathedral
West facade of the cathedral

See also: List of Monuments historiques in Chartres

The imposing landmark of the city, which is also visible from many kilometers due to the flat surrounding area, is the Notre-Dame de Chartres cathedral , which was included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage in 1979. It was essentially built from 1194 to 1220 over an extensive crypt from the 11th century, is the oldest, practically unchanged, high Gothic cathedral in the world and with its almost completely preserved glass paintings, in particular the three rose windows and the one from the middle of the 12th century The west facade is richly decorated with its Portail Royal and numerous sculptures and reliefs on the two transept portals. It was the model for many other Gothic cathedrals in Central Europe and is therefore of outstanding importance. Although only two of the originally planned nine towers were built and their exterior looks very sober due to the porous limestone used, it is considered the cathedral par excellence. The well-preserved Labyrinth of Chartres is on the floor of the western entrance area ; it is eponymous for the Christian labyrinth type with eleven passages.

Medieval Chartres is still largely surrounded by ramparts, a city ​​wall and gates. The city has been restored at great expense and its narrow streets are under monumental protection, as is the cathedral in its center. Another high Gothic church in Chartres is St. Pierre.


Chartres is traditionally a city that was anchored in the agricultural trade in grain, cattle and wool . This results in its position as the market center of Beauce . In the meantime, the food, pharmaceutical and electrical industries as well as mechanical engineering have been added.

Twin cities

Chartres maintains the following cities partnerships :


sons and daughters of the town

Other personalities

  • Thierry von Chartres (* around 1085, † around 1155), Platonic philosopher
  • Noël Ballay (1847–1902), poet; was buried in Chartres Cathedral
  • Jean Moulin (1899–1943), the "silent hero of the Resistance "; from 1939 to 1940 Prefect of the Eure-et-Loir department (with official seat in Chartres)
  • Abbé Franz Stock (1904–1948), German Catholic clergyman and pioneer of Franco-German friendship; was reburied from Paris in 1963 in the newly built Saint Jean Baptiste church in Chartres

Well-known Bishops of Chartres :

Web links

Commons : Chartres  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Chartres  - Travel Guide
  • Illustration by Frans Hogenberg from 1570: After Chartres was bombarded, Hant the Condeischen decided, ... With a storming fist approach the place, ... ( digitized )

Individual evidence

  1. Asociation de Agencias de Turismo del Cusco: Ciudades hermanas
  2. Bethlehem Twinning Cities (English)