Partly built starting in 1145, and then reconstructed over a 26-year period after the fire of 1194, Chartres Cathedral marks the high point of French Gothic art. What makes the cathedral special from an artistic viewpoint is its exceptional state of preservation. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century.
Chartres Cathedral is a way station on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella, with many pilgrims coming to venerate the Cathedral's famous relic, the Sancta Camisa, said to be the tunic worn by the Virgin Mary at Christ's birth, as well as large numbers of secular tourists who come to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Definitive Mariane in Europe stamp and commemorative stamp for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry featuring Marie Curie, a French-Polish physicist and chemist famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes, in physics and chemistry, and was the the first woman to be interred on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.