Notre Dame Cathedral at Chartres and St.Etienne Cathedral at Bourges constitute the two most important collections of stained glass in France. They are also some of the finest examples of religious texts ‘written’ in glass, intended to be ‘read’ by the illiterate visitor.

This tour enlists the support of two of the world’s greatest experts in stained glass. It begins in Chartres, where Notre Dame is a virtual encyclopaedia of the many styles of stained glass, primarily constituted in its treasure of 12th century panels and three 13th rose windows. Here your guide will explain that “Stained glass is supposed to reflect the soul of man,” and you will be confronted with a remarkable selection of 13th century glass along three levels of the choir, as well as some 14th century stained glass in the west façade and later works in the chapels added in the 15th and 17th centuries. This is the home of ‘Chartres Blue’ stained glass, so well represented in the Royal Entrance, and in the Notre Dame de le Belle Verriere window.

The full range of early stained glass styles, from small modestly ornamented, to elongated clerestory windows, and vivid coloured rose windows are present here. This cathedral is also as one of the first places where the ‘silver yellow’ style of ‘grisaille’ stained glass appears in France, and includes some 14th and 15th century windows.

This Paris Luxury Tour will then drive you two hours away to the ancient royal city of Bourges, capital of the old province of Berry, where you can stop for lunch at the starred Abbaye St.-Ambroix restaurant. After, we will visit the High Gothic St. Etienne Cathedral. Here your guide will explain that “Stained glass is supposed to reflect the soul of man,” and you will be confronted with a remarkable selection of 13th century glass along three levels of the choir, as well as some 14th century stained glass in the west façade and later works in the chapels added in the 15th and 17th centuries.
This is the home of “The Annunciation” window, one of the masterpieces of Renaissance stained glass.