Saving the Light at Chartres: How the Great Cathedral and Its Stained-Glass Treasures Were Rescued during World War II
Posted on 2020-03-22, by books_lover.
Built around 1200 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site that draws more than a million visitors and pilgrims each year, Chartres Cathedral is one of the jewels of Western Civilization. How Chartres Cathedral and its priceless stained glass (today the largest such collection in one location) survived World War II’s widespread destruction of cultural monuments is one of the great stories of recent history. Saving the Light at Chartres begins half a decade before World War II, when a young French architect developed a plan to save the cathedral’s precious stained glass. As war engulfed Europe in the fall of 1939, master glass artisans dismantled the hundreds of windows, and soldiers, tradesmen, and laborers with local volunteers crated thousands of glass panels, stowed them in the crypt, and months later—just before German invaders reached Chartres—hauled them across the country to an underground quarry. This effort to save the stained glass is but a prologue. By August 1944, the U.S
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