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Saint-Pierre Church
Saint-Pierre Church

In Chartres, several places of worship from various periods call our attention. From the high Middle Age crypt of Saint-Martin-au-Val to Saint-Jean-Baptist de Rechèvre built right after the second war world. Saint Pierre, "Saint Père en Vallée" until the French Revolution, is the most remarkable by its architecture and its stain glasses windows. This Benedictine Abbey did benefit from the generosity of  Sainte Bathilde, Clovis wife. Unfortunately it has been first destroyed by the Norman's and then by several burning and by the 1134 one in particular which destroyed the all town.

After the construction of the belfry-donjon, probably during the 10th century, the new choir has been elaborated around 1150.

It's in that time frame that the grave of the Deacon Gilduin is founded. Bishop nominated in Dol, he died in the Abbey of Saint Pierre, Saint Père en Vallée, on his return from Rome, having renounced in front of the Pope himself to his important duty. Because of that, pilgrims came on his grave bringing the necessary resources to keep the building going.

Just before 1200, the north part and then the south part of the nave were built. Along the 13th century, the style is very close from the architecture of the Cathedral. The upper part of the choir is then built during Saint Louis. It's a very beautiful piece of rayonnant architecture.

The stain glasses windows dated from the 14th century. The presentation is very well structured, starting on the north side with the life of Saint Jean-Baptist and the Apostles, then in the south with various saints, such as monks, bishops and popes.

During the 19th century, in the perforated triforium, 16th century stain glasses windows originated from the nearby church of Saint Hilaire, otherwise completely destroyed, has been installed. Some of them might be from the famous Robert Pinaigrier.

In Saint Pierre, very few remains from the 16th century. The Saint Paul from François Marchand known for his work on the royal graves of the Basilic of Saint Denis is kept in the Municipal Museum.

Among the Bishops from Chartres, buried in this, now parish, church of Saint Pierre, Fulbert of Chartres (Died on 1028) and Raoul Harscouët (Died on 1954)


Copyright © 1999 Pierre Bizeau  

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