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Stained Glasses of Chartres' Cathedral, France

Lancet window

Aaron and his persecutor the Pharaoh, falling into the Red Sea, North Rose window, circa 1230

Blue Virgin

Or Notre-Dame de la Belle Verrière, mid 12th century

Charlemagne Window

Detail of Roland, shown twice, attempting to break his sword (left) and blowing his horn (right), ambulatory, early 13th century

Charlemagne Window

Detail of the joust between Roland (left) and the Saracen king, Marsile (right), ambulatory, early 13th century

Lancet window

Melchizedek and Nebuchadnezzar, David and Saul, kings and high priests of the Old Testament, North Rose window, circa 1230

Five lancets window

David, St Anne and Salomon, North Rose window, circa 1230

Zodiac Signs Window

Fragment depicting a hooded peasant pruning his wine (lower left), Aries among trees (lower right), May (helmeted soldier with horse grazing) and Gemini (naked Twins holding hands) in the quatrefoil, April as a woman standing between flowering trees (upper left), and Taurus, the bull standing among trees, 13th century, ambulatory

North Rose Window

Detail of Virgin Mary with the Holy Child on her knees, 13th century, atelier of Notre-Dame de Paris

Charlemagne Window

Charlemagne's third journey journey to Spain, depicted with a joust between Roland (on the left with closed visor) and the Saracen king Masile with a green crown, ambulatory, early 13th century

Five lancets window

North Rose window, circa 1230

Lancet window

St. Anne holding her child, North Rose window, circa 1230

Lancet window

David and Saul, king and high priest of the Old Testament, North Rose window, circa 1230

Jesse window

Or Tree of Jesse (fragment), circa 1150

Lancet window

Melchizedek and Nebuchadnezzar, king and high priest of the Old Testament, North Rose window, circa 1230

Lancet window

Salomon and Jeroboam, king and high priest of the Old Testament, North Rose window, circa 1230

Begun in the 12th century, Chartres cathedral is one of the great achievements of Western architecture. Its soaring proportions, wealth of sculpture, and glorious stained glass have had a profound effect on the preservation of medieval culture until the present day. Whereas the new Gothic style rapidly asserted itself in cathedral architecture, stained glass windows showed a continued Romanesque influence for several more decades. Today Chartres retains 152 of its original 186 windows, serving as the greatest treasure of medieval stained glass in France and the source of much of our knowledge about its manufacture.