The cathedral alone is a reason to visit Chartres. You see it from far off, its soaring spire dominating the flat landscape of cornfields around the city. The cathedral was built in an amazing short 25 years, with the north and south porches added 20 years later. Unlike other Gothic cathedrals which either took centuries to build or which burnt down and were rebuilt, it is a remarkable example of a certain Gothic style.
Once inside, the long nave is a knock-out. But it’s the stained glass that is the true treasure of Chartres. Take a pair of binoculars so you can see the stories and details of the windows which stretch up to the top of the nave. Each summer the light show takes you around the darkened streets, showing you the life of the past.