Pilgrimages from past to present
For centuries, Chartres has been a pilgrimage destination. The origin of this lies in the cathedral’s relic, known today as the Veil of the Virgin, which was donated to the Church of Chartres by Charles the Bald in 876. Previously called a “tunic”, its fame is linked to the fact that it is said to have been worn by the Virgin Mary on the day of the birth of Jesus. As its reputation spread, believers came from all over to pray from the Second Coming in the cathedral.
Nowadays, several pilgrimage routes cross paths in our medieval city in Eure-et-Loir. Chartres is known in particular for its youth rallies, although it also hosts pilgrimages that are veritable enticements to travel.
Key pilgrimage dates in 2020
All year round, major gatherings punctuate life at Chartres Cathedral:
- "Jeunes d’Île de France", Sunday 5th April.
- "Monde du travail", Sunday 10th May.
- "Tamouls du Sri Lanka", Sunday 24th May.
- "Notre-Dame de Chrétienté", Monday 1st June.
- "Fête Patronale : Assomption de la Vierge", Saturday 15th August (procession in the city).
- "Guides et scouts d'Europe d'Yvelines", Sunday 11th October.
For your information, if you would like to visit the cathedral during one of these key events, be sure to check in advance as to which parts of the building will be open to the public, as some may not be. Additionally, photography is prohibited in the cathedral during services so as not to disturb the religious ceremonials.
Chartres, on the Camino de Santiago
Along the Paris-Tours Route, Chartres is a host city for pilgrims travelling the Camino de Santiago. Are you on a pilgrimage with Chartres as one of your stops? Prepare your stay in our medieval city in the Eure-et-Loir Department by enquiring about accommodation nearby the cathedral and about mass and other service times.
Lastly, the French Society of the Friends of St. James (Société Française des Amis de Saint Jacques de Compostelle) can also be a precious contact in organizing your trip to Chartres, with a wealth of useful information for you. You can also choose to venture along the Camino de Santiago by bicycle. Why not give in to temptation?