David Downie: The Tale of the Two Labyrinths of Chartres
by David Downie
Introduction by Jonell Galloway
Chartres is not only my home, but remains one of the most mystical places on earth, even after years of living there. It has everything I need in a city: a spiritual atmosphere, good food, good wine, beautiful stained glass, a beautiful cathedral and 128 or so other beautiful churches, and honest people who, being from the bread basket of France, have never lost their work ethic and healthy attitude. People were already making pilgrimages to Chartres long before the Christianized Romans appeared on the scene, and they continue to do so in droves today.
I was pleased to see Rambling Epicure contributor David Downie’s article on Gadling about the labyrinths of Chartres, the city that may just have as much history as any in Europe, and about how its sacred sites continue to inspire people of many denominations and beliefs who travel from all over the world to soak up its telluric energy.
Outdoors in a panoramic park behind the famous cathedral of Chartres a teenage girl skipped along the concentric pathways of a grassy labyrinth. Other kids shouted and kicked a soccer ball. Young lovers simultaneously pecked at each other and the touchpads of their handheld devices, observed by curious onlookers.
Most such onlookers in Chartres are day-trippers from nearby Paris: The capital is an hour’s ride east on a commuter train.
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