Remarkable Cathedrals of Northern France

Inside Strasbourg Cathedral

  The medieval cathedrals of northern France are marvels of craftsmanship, designed and created with incredible skill. Centuries later we still gaze at them in awe. Four that I find remarkable are in Strasbourg, Tours, Bourges and Laon. Strasbourg Cathedral The Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, in Alsace, was the world’s tallest building until 1847. At 142 meters (466 feet) high, the ... Read Full Article

The 5 Greatest Cathedrals in France

  It is difficult to choose the 5 greatest cathedrals in France, but those listed here seem to me to be the most impressive. Whatever your views, there’s no denying the significance of cathedrals in France. To believers, a cathedral is a sacred, holy place of worship. Others may see a treasure house of fabulous art, a symbol of oppression and ostentatious wealth, or simply another historic ... Read Full Article

Mystery of the Black Madonna

The Black Madonna has been a figure of mystery for centuries. Some say she’s simply a statue of the Virgin Mary carved from black wood, or perhaps has soot on her skin from the smoke of thousands of candles.  But speculation goes much deeper than that. Throughout Europe, especially in France, about 500 Black Madonnas, painted or carved in wood or stone, stand in Catholic churches, with a few in ... Read Full Article

Chartes, France: City of Lights and Perfume

Maison du Saumon Chartres

  The small city of Chartres, an hour’s train ride southwest from Paris, is most famous for its wondrous cathedral. Certainly the magnificent Gothic structure, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not to be missed. But Chartres has much more to offer. Start with the Petit Train tour, and you’ll get a ride through the streets of Old Town, a nice overview. The train leaves from the tourist ... Read Full Article

Chartres Cathedral: “Clad in a Garment of Gems”

  The greatest Gothic cathedral in France stands in Chartres, a pretty town on the Eure River in the Loire Valley. Chartres is only an hour by train or car from Paris, and many visitors make it a day trip — ride through the countryside, tour the cathedral, have lunch, ride back — and some wonder why all the fuss over one more medieval stone church with soaring spires, flying buttresses, ... Read Full Article