Chartres Cathedral

0036-09-04 00:00:00

Aventin made the first bishop of Chartres

According to the Old Chronicle of Chartres, Aventin was made the first bishop of Chartres by Saint Altin and Saint Eodald in 36 AD. Saint Altin and Saint Eodald had been sent to Chartres in by Saint Savinien and Saint Potentien in order to spread Christianity to Gaul.

0466-09-01 00:00:00

Reign of Clovis

0499-09-01 00:00:00

Bishop Solemnis of Chartres baptises Clovis

The Cartulaire de Notre Dame de Chartres credits Bishop Solemnis of Chartres with the baptism of Clovis. Clovis's conversion to Catholicism encouraged the religion's spread throughout France.

0600-09-01 00:00:00

Thierry II takes possession of Chartres

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres recounts the defeat of Clothar II by Theoderic II, occuring between 600-602. According to the Cartulaire, the victor took possession of the city of Chartres and made Bishop Bethaire of Chartres a prisoner.

0843-09-01 00:00:00

Reign of Charles II

0855-09-01 00:00:00

Sack and destruction of Chartres by the Normans

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres states that in 855, the cathedral was sacked and destroyed by Normans from Hastings, during Bishop Frotbold’s tenure.

0857-09-01 00:00:00

Chartres burnt by Hastein, chieftain of the Danes

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres records the “sack” of Chartres by the Normans, led by Hastein, occuring between 857 and 858. This attack resulted in the death of Bishop Frotbold of Chartres. Vincent Sablon recounts the burning of Chartres in his history of the cathedral, written in 1671: “Then Hastings [Hastein], chief of the Norman Danes, feigning that he had abandoned his hostility toward the inhabitants [of the town] and that he wanted to be baptized (as if he burned with an ardent desire to become a Christian), took advantage of the naivete of this good bishop, his canons, and townsmen, who in good faith let him and his soldiers into the city; as soon as Hastings and his men were inside, they made rivers of blood and tears flow, they burned everything down pitilessly, and they put to the sword whatever the flames spared. It is said that the lead roofing on the church poured by the bucketful down the streets.”

0858-12-01 00:00:00

Bishop Gislebert rebuilds Chartres

Robert Branner credits Gislebert with leading the rebuild of Chartres following it's destruction in 858.

0858-12-05 00:00:00

The St Lubin chapel is built in the crypt

The oldest surviving portion of Chartres cathedral is a chamber in the crypt that is thought to be rebuilt after the fire of 858 AD. The chamber is named after the Merovingian bishop St. Lubin (reg 544-56). The chamber stands at a lower level then the rest of the crypt.

0859-09-01 00:00:00

Tenure of Bishop Gislebert of Chartres

The dates of Bishop Gislebert's tenure at Chartres according to James Bugslag.

0876-09-01 00:00:00

Charles II presents Chartres with the Virgin's Holy Tunic relic

King Charles II (Charles the Bald) presents Chartres with a piece of oriental silk purporting to be from the Virgin Mary’s robe. This relic is sometimes referred to as the Holy Tunic or the Virgin’s Robe. The relic would later be stored in a reliquary known as the Sainte-Châsse. This event is recorded in a Latin poem written in 1262 by Jean le Marchand.

0911-09-01 00:00:00

The Holy Tunic relic "saves" Chartres

According to the Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres, in 911, Chartres was beseiged by the "Normans de Rollon” (presumably referring to Rollo, ruler of Normandy, c. 860-930). The Bishop Ganteline attached the most sacred relic of Chartres, a piece of the Virgin’s robe, to a lance. According to the legend, once faced with the holy relic, the attackers retreated, without doing any damage to the cathedral.

0962-09-01 00:00:00

Chartres burned by Richard I, Duke of Normandy

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres states that in 962, Chartres was burned by Richard I, Duke of Normandy during the tenures of Theobald I, Count of Blois (“Thibault le Tricheur”) and Bishop Hardouin of Chartres.

1006-09-01 00:00:00

Bishop Fulbert's tenure at Chartres

The St.-Aignan Chronicle states that the fire of 1020 occurred in the “fourteenth year of the episcopate of Lord Fulbert”.

1020-09-08 06:45:47

Chartres destroyed in fire

Record of this fire can be found in multiple primary sources. The Cartulaire de Notre Dame de Chartres makes mention of a fire occuring in 1020, while the St.-Aignan Chronicle, translated in 1888, describes the event with more detail: “The third fire occurred in the year 1020, the fourteenth year of the episcopate of Lord Fulbert, during the very night of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary [September 8]. In this one, the church was not simply burned, but actually totally destroyed.”

1020-10-01 00:00:00

Reconstruction period

The Cartulaire de Notre Dame de Chartres records a continued donation made by Eudes II, Count of Blois, of “libéralités (…) pour la restoration du temple” between 1020 and 1038, indicating that construction was done to the cathedral in this time period.

1020-10-01 00:00:00

Bishop Fulbert begins reconstruction of Chartres

Bishop Fulbert is credited by multiple primary sources with leading the rebuild of Chartres Cathedral directly after the fire of September 8, 1020. The St.-Aignan Chronicle states that after the fire of 1020, “the same glorious Bishop Fulbert, through his diligence, efforts, and material contributions, rebuilt it from the ground up, and once raised, practically saw it through to a state of wondrous greatness and beauty.”

1024-09-01 00:00:00

The crypt is completed

Robert Branner dates the completion of the crypt to 1024. James Bugslag describes the form of the crypt: “It primarily consists of vaulted passages under the nave aisles, eleven bays long, which are joined at the east end by an ambulatory with three radiating chapels; and ‘transepts’ flanking the apse.”

1031-09-01 00:00:00

Reign of Henry I

1031-09-28 12:16:29

Fire destroys the town of Chartres

Between 1031 and 1038, a fire caused severe damage to the town of Chartres. Chartres Cathedral, at that time under the leadership of Bishop Thierry, was spared.

1037-09-01 00:00:00

Chartres Cathedral is consecrated by Bishop Thierry of Verdun

1060-09-01 00:00:00

Extension work is carried out by Bishop Arrald of Chartres

The Cartulaire de Notre Dame de Chartres notes that extension work was carried out by Bishop Arrald of Chartres in 1060, but it does not go into further detail.

1060-09-01 00:00:00

Construction is done to the attic of Chartres

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres states that construction was done to “des combles par le roi Henri avant 1060."

1060-09-01 00:00:00

Bishop Robert de Tours oversees the repair of the paving to the choir entrance

The Cartulaire de Notre Dame de Chartres records the repair of the paving of the entrance of the choir in 1060, under the direction of Bishop Robert de Tours.

1066-09-01 00:00:00

The cult of carts period

As defined by Carl F. Barnes Jr., the cult of carts was a historical phenomenon that occurred during the 11th and 12th centuries in Western Europe in which individuals would transport church building materials (typically by cart) as an act of piety. Fourteen similar instances are recorded between 1066 and 1308 AD, twelve religious and two secular.

1066-09-01 00:00:00

Reign of William I

1087-09-01 00:00:00

William I funds the construction of the bell tower at Chartres

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres states that William I (William the Conqueror) funded the construction of the bell tower (“campanile”) of Chartres, in memory of his daughter Adelise.

1090-09-01 00:00:00

Sculpture on the West Portal begun

The sculpture on the West Portal (also known as the Royal Portal) is begun during Bishop Ivo’s tenure.

1090-09-01 00:00:00

Dean Abalard leads construction of a chapter house

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres notes that a chapter house was constructed by Dean Abalard in 1090 AD.

1090-11-25 00:00:00

Ivo elected Bishop of Chartres

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres notes a letter from Pope Urban II which mentions the election of Ivo as Bishop of Chartres on November 25, 1090.

1100-09-01 00:00:00

Bishop Ivo constructs the jubé

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres notes that the jubé, or choir screen, was constructed around 1100 by “Bishop Yves” (Bishop Ivo).

1118-09-01 00:00:00

Construction is done to the roof of Chartres

In 1118, “Teudon, the knight Bernard, the nun Adelaide and the Queen of England, Mathilde” (Matilda of Scotland) donated “the necessary lead” for construction of a new roof for Chartres Cathedral.

1131-09-01 00:00:00

Marble paving is added to the choir

Dean Zacharie of Chartres is credited with providing the necessary funds for the new marble paving. The paving was added in the choir, in front of the deans' place within the choir.

1133-09-01 00:00:00

The reliquary of Saint Aignan is destroyed

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres records the occurrence of a fire in 1133 that minorly damaged the cathedral overall. The document states that while the reliquary of Saint Aignan was destroyed by the fire, the relics themselves were miraculously preserved.

1134-09-01 00:00:00

A cult of carts building event occurs at Chartres

In the translation of The Chronicle of Robert de Torigny, Abbot of Mont-Saint-Michel, the Abbot recalls witnessing a cult of carts event at Chartres Cathedral: “In this same year, primarily at Chartres, men began, with their own shoulders, to drag the wagons loaded with stone, wood, grain, and other materials to the workshop of the church, whose towers were then rising. Anyone who has not witnessed this will not see the like in our time. Not only there, but also in nearly the whole of France and Normandy and in many other places, [one saw] everywhere humility and affictio, everywhere penance and the forgiveness of offenses, everywhere mourning and contrition. One might observe women as well as men dragging [wagons] through deep swamps on their knees, beating themselves with whips, numerous wonders occurring everywhere, canticles and hymns being offered to God."

1140-09-01 00:00:00

South-west tower is built

1145-09-01 00:00:00

Another cult of carts building event takes place at Chartres

A cult of carts event taking place at Chartres in 1145 AD is described by Archbishop Hugh of Roen in a letter to Theodore, Bishop of Amiens. Hugh writes: “It was at Chartres that men began humbly to pull wagons and carts for the work of building the church and that their humility began to shine forth even with miracles." A similar, if not the same, event occurring in 1145 at Chartres is described in a letter written by Haymo, Abbot of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives. Haymo writes that thousands of individuals of all social ranks participating. Under close supervision by clergymembers, participants were harnessed to carts bearing building materials. Haymo writes that the participants sang as they labored and considered their effort an act of penance.

1155-09-01 00:00:00

Donations are made to fund the construction of "the Tower"

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres states that donations were made to achieve the building of "the Tower” by Canon Mathiew, Cantor Hamelin, Bishop Goslin de Leves, Canon Nivelon, Canon Albert de Meiz, Canon and levite Adam, Levite and precanter Hugues, priest and Canon Dean Abalard, Canon Hugues, and by carpenter Jean.

1170-09-01 00:00:00

“Virgin, Child and Angels” window is completed

The “Virgin, Child and Angels” window (also known as “Notre-Dame de la Belle Verrière”) is located in the south choir.

1183-09-01 00:00:00

Reginald of Bar serves as Bishop of Chartres

1190-09-01 00:00:00

Reign of King Philip Augustus of France

1194-06-10 03:23:56

Fire nearly destroys Chartres

A fire on June 10th, 1194 destroys the majority of Bishop Fulbert’s cathedral. Only the 11th century crypt and 12th century west façade (including the two towers) survived the incident undamaged. A medieval text corroborates: “Therefore, in the year 1194 after the Incarnation of the Lord, since the church at Chartres had been devastated on the third of the Ides of June [June 10] by an extraordinary and lamentable fire making it necessary later, after the walls had been broken up and demolished and leveled to the ground, to repair the foundations and then erect a new church."

1195-09-01 00:00:00

A donation is made to help fund the reconstruction effort

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres notes a donation made by Manassès de Mauvoisin in 1195 for the reconstruction effort following the fire of 1194.

1205-09-01 00:00:00

The head of St. Anne is given to Chartres

According to the Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres, the head of St. Anne was sent to Chartres by Count Louis from Constantinople in 1205.

1205-09-01 00:00:00

Lord Gervais of Châteauneuf donates the head of St. Matthew to Chartres

After acquiring the relic as a participant of the Fourth Crusade, Lord Gervais of Châteauneuf donated the head of St. Matthew to Chartres Cathedral.

1205-09-01 00:00:00

Figures on the central portal of the north transept carved

The figures in the central portal of the north transept are carved in this period and bear a strong resemblance to figures sculpted at Laon Cathedral, leading historians to suggest that the same artisans may have worked on both cathedrals.

1210-09-01 00:00:00

A riot occurs in Chartres

The Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres briefly mentions a riot occurring in 1210.

1215-09-01 00:00:00

Windows of the choir aisles and ambulatories are completed

The stained glass windows of the choir aisles and ambulatories feature scenes from the lives of Charlemagne, St. Thomas Becket, St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Stephen, St. Andrew, St. James, St. Martin, St. Silvester, St. Nicolas, and St. Germaine.

1217-09-01 00:00:00

South transept, rose window and lancets are completed

1221-09-01 00:00:00

New choir stalls are in use

New choir stalls are mentioned in the Cartulaire de Notre Dame de Chartres and are implied to be in use by 1221.

Chartres Cathedral

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