Chartres was in Gaul one of the principal towns of the Carnutes, a Celtic tribe. In the Gallo-Roman period, it was called Autricum, name derived from the river Autura (Eure), and afterwards civitas Carnutum, “city of the Carnutes”, from which Chartres got its name. The city was burned by the Normans in 858, and unsuccessfully besieged by them in 911.
During the Middle Ages, it was the most important town of the Beauce. It gave its name to a county which was held by the counts of Blois, and the counts of Champagne, and afterwards by the House of Châtillon, a member of which sold it to the Crown in 1286.
In 1417, during the Hundred Years’ War, Chartres fell into the hands of the English, from whom it was recovered in 1432.
In 1528, it was raised to the rank of a duchy by Francis I.
In 1568, during the Wars of Religion, Chartres was unsuccessfully besieged by the Huguenot leader, the Prince of Condé. It was finally taken by the royal troops of Henry IV on 19 April 1591. On Sunday, 27 February 1594, the cathedral of Chartres was the site of the coronation of Henry IV after he converted to the Catholic faith, the only king of France whose coronation ceremony was not performed in Reims.
In 1674, Louis XIV raised Chartres from a duchy to a duchy peerage in favor of his nephew, Duke Philippe II of Orléans. The title of Duke of Chartres was hereditary in the House of Orléans, and given to the eldest son of the Duke of Orléans.
In the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, Chartres was seized by the Germans on 2 October 1870, and continued during the rest of the war to be an important centre of operations.
In World War II, the city suffered heavy damage by bombing and during the battle of Chartres in August 1944, but its cathedral was spared by an American Army officer who challenged the order to destroy it. On 16 August 1944, Colonel Welborn Barton Griffith, Jr. questioned the necessity of destroying the cathedral and volunteered to go behind enemy lines to find out whether the Germans were using it as an observation post. With his driver, Griffith proceeded to the cathedral and, after searching it all the way up its bell tower, confirmed to Headquarters that it was empty of Germans. The order to destroy the cathedral was withdrawn. Colonel Griffith was killed in action later on that day in the town of Lèves, 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) north of Chartres. For his heroic action both at Chartres and Lèves, Colonel Griffith received, posthumously, several decorations awarded by the President of the United States and the U.S. Military, and also from the French government
Following deep reconnaissance missions in the region by the 3rd Cavalry Group and units of the 1139 Engineer Combat Group, and after heavy fighting in and around the city, Chartres was liberated, on 18 August 1944, by the U.S. 5th Infantry and 7th Armored Divisions belonging to the XX Corps of the U.S. Third Army commanded by General George S. Patton.
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Chartres es una ciudad y comuna francesa situada en el departamento de Eure y Loir de la que es capital, en la región de Centro. Es admirada mundialmente su magnífica catedral gótica: Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Chartres.
Situada a orillas del río Eure fue conocida en diferentes momentos de su historia con los topónimos de Carnutes, Autricum y civitas Carnutum.
En el punto más elevado de la ciudad está la catedral de Nuestra Señora de Chartres (siglos XII y XIII), joya del gótico francés y del arte de todos los tiempos, famosa por la unidad del conjunto arquitectónico, sus singulares torres, fachadas, esculturas. Su conjunto de vidrieras del siglo XIII, el mejor conservado de todos cuanto existen, proyectan al interior una luminosidad misteriosa. Fue declarada Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco en 1979.
Entre los patrimonios cultural de Chartres hay particularmente la casa Picassiette . Es una casa compuesta de mosaico y por faience. La casa Picassiette es un ejemplo notable de Arte Bruto(Crudo). Entre decorador y arquitecto, Raymond Isidore, artista autodidacta y apodado de manera irrisoria Picassiette, va a transformar cada espacio de su vivienda en un soporte artístico: paredes, techos, cursos, jardines, etc. http://www.chartres-tourisme.com/node/234
Hay también un monumento en homenaje a Jean Moulin que representa un puño crispado sobre una espada