Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chartres and Evreux

The Notre-Dame de Chartres

June 18 - Chartres and Evreux

The drive to Chartres was a quick one. Once there, we found a parking spot way underground (four levels down) at the Hotel de Ville (City Hall). All we really wanted to do was to have a quick tour of (yes, yet another) cathedral and the surrounding area.

The Notre-Dame de Chartres did not disappoint. With its two very different spires - one being Roman, the other uber-Gothic, the cathedral yields a very dramatic sight. Inside, too, it is quite amazing in its architecture, the sheer size and height, the ornamental Christian sculptures, the paintings, wood carvings, the marble floor - everywhere you look, there are works of art.

A wide pedestrian way and square in Chartres
After the cathedral and a quick tour around the old parts of the city, we found our way back to the parking garage and continued onward,

Evreux is a small town. For the first time, we had decided to go to a place without a hotel reservation. Big mistake. Evreux, it turns out, was having a music festival and its few hotels were booked. We ended up finding a room at the Grand de le Gare (in essence, that meant that it was a hotel located right across the street from the train station). Actually, it turned out to be okay.

We plunked our stuff down and went off to see what all the hoopla was about. Around town there were several different venues going on with people singing, playing piano, dancing and playing medieval instruments. We listened to several students doing their recital for a class in classical ragtime music. Really fun.

Cathedral in Evreux

The Hotel de Ville (city hall)

Evreux was nearly all destroyed in the WWII (the cathedral seems to have been kept in tact). So much of what we saw had been rebuilt. They did an excellent job of creating a warm atmosphere and utilizing the river to enhance the feel of the city. It was a very comfortable town and we definitely enjoyed our one night stay in Evreux.

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