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Chartres cathedral-Guided tours

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Jul 15th, 2001, 04:07 PM
  #1
clairobscur
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Chartres cathedral-Guided tours

I'm going to visit the Chartres cathedral tomorrow with australian friends, so we'll need an english-speaking tour.

I read a lot of posts here recommanding the tours organized by a retired american, but since I can't remember his name, I couldn't make a search.

So I would need some informations :

-What's the name of this excellent guide?

-I remember he organizes one tour in the morning and another one during the afternoon. Does someone remember at which time the afternoon tour begins?

-Can we show up at the moment the tour begins or were we supposed to call in advance, reserve, or something?

Thanks in advance....

 
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Jul 15th, 2001, 04:12 PM
  #2
Sue
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I've not been on the tour, but the name of the guide is Malcolm Miller. Apparently he has an assistant who sometimes conducts the tour instead.

My guidebook tells me there are two tours, one at 12:00 and one at 14:45, but you're supposed to confirm at Tourist Information. The guide also says to simply show up at the cathedral.

Sorry for the third hand information, but it appears you are tight on time, so thought I'd give you such info as I had.

Good luck, and let us know how things went, and if my guidebook is accurate.
 
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Jul 15th, 2001, 04:17 PM
  #3
adrienne
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Hi Clairobscur,

Malcom Miller is English and I don't believe he's retired. He's been giving tours at Chartres Cathedral for 35 to 40 years and his tours are wonderful. He's written several books on the cathedral and gives lectures world wide. I've been there 3 times and taken his tour each time. If you can take both the morning and afternoon tour since he varys them. He gives a brief history of the cathedral and then goes on to explain one of the stained glass windows. Then you go outside and he explains a portion of the facade.

In between the 2 tours you can walk through the medieval area of Chartres and have lunch. There’s a TI just before you get to the cathedral so you can get a map of the town and find out what’s going on.

There's plenty of web sites on the cathedral, the town, and on Malcolm Miller.

Adrienne

 
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Jul 15th, 2001, 04:20 PM
  #4
adrienne
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Hi again,

Forgot to answer your question...you can just show up. There's a small fee you pay him directly. You can check at the TI before hand in case things have changed. I haven't taken the tour in a few years. In the beginning Mr. Miller would just accept tips but the last time I took his tour he charged 30FF. It would be more now but well worth it. The tours are about an hour.

Adrienne
 
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Jul 15th, 2001, 05:25 PM
  #5
StCirq
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Don't be surprised if you don't find Malcolm Miller. I believe he's on tour in the USA right now. But he will have adequate substitutes in place if he's not there himself.

He's British, not American, andhe charged 40F per person last time I took the tour (2 years ago). Tours are generally at noon and 2:45 p.m., except on Sundays, when Mass is in progress in the morning. Just showing up at the cathedral and joning the tour is the thing to do. He's simply fabulous.

 
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Jul 15th, 2001, 06:27 PM
  #6
Nancy
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Hope it's not too late to answer you but be sure to take binoculars. Makes a big difference while he's explaining the bible stories in the stained glass. You can follow the story so much better.
 
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Jul 16th, 2001, 05:10 AM
  #7
steve
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I second the idea of taking both tours. They are terrific.

I am glad he now is able to charge for the tour. He used to have to just rely on tips and one could see that he was clearly embarrassed at having to do so.
 
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Jul 16th, 2001, 05:42 AM
  #8
elaine
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Hi
here's a little more info
If you want to check to make certain he or another guide will be there, the telephone number is 02 37 28 15 58.

A pair of binoculars is very useful for seeing the detail in the windows.

information on Chartres, including hotels and restaurants: www.1heart.com/chartresadvice
also, www.ville-chartres.fr/

not such a good website except that you can see a map of the town:
www.chartres.com/va/bienvenu.htm

info on the labyrinth that is set into the floor of the cathedral: www.lessons4living.com/
chartres_labyrinth.htm

basic info, with links:
http://www.gofrance.about.com/travel.../blchartre.htm
 
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Jul 16th, 2001, 06:17 AM
  #9
Alec
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Further contact details for Malcolm Miller:

Mr Malcolm Miller
26, Rue des Ecuyers
28000 CHARTRES
Tel : 02 37 28 15 58
(+ 33 2 37 28 15 58)
Fax : 02 37 28 33 03
(+ 33 2 37 28 33 03)
Email : [email protected]

When absent, call :
Service Accueil-Visites de la Cathédrale
Tel : 02 37 21 75 02
(+ 33 2 37 21 75 02)
Fax : 02 37 36 51 43
(+ 33 2 37 36 51 43)
Email : [email protected]

 
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Jul 16th, 2001, 08:26 AM
  #10
Lynn
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Definitely go on the guided tour with one of Malcomb Miller's associates.

A note about the labyrinth: it is covered by chairs most of the time. I believe it is cleared to walk only on specified days. However, a friend mine was able to make arrangements with a caretaker to walk it one evening after the cathedral closed to the public.
 
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Jul 16th, 2001, 10:10 AM
  #11
lisa
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I had the pleasure of experiencing one of Malcolm Miller's tours in late May. He now charges 50FF for adults. It is well worth it.
 
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Jul 16th, 2001, 03:19 PM
  #12
Clairobscur
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Thanks You all for your quick and useful responses.

Since we were leaving Paris at noon, we could only got the afternoon tour. Since I don't have binoculars, I couldn't bring them, but indeed it would have been useful. I myself didn't follow the tour since I already knew the cathedral and more important because I'm really bad at understanding spoken english.

I slightly insisted in order that my friends take a guided tour, supposing it would be much more rewarding (it indeed began at 2:45). Mr Miller himself was the guide. They were very happy with the tour, told me he seemed to know everything about the cathedral, and bought one of his books.


Thanks again. We had a very pleasant afternoon.
 
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Jul 16th, 2001, 06:43 PM
  #13
StCirq
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Claire: I'm amazed that youé bad at understanding spoken English - your written English is so very good.
 
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Jul 17th, 2001, 02:54 AM
  #14
clairoobscur
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St-Cirq : concerning my skills in english :

reading it : no problem

writing it : I can manage it with various error and often can't remember the word I need and have to rewrite the sentence in another way

Talking it : poor. I make a lot of basic mistakes (no time to think, as opposed to writing), my accent is awful, and quite often a native speaker don't understand even simple sentences I said.

Understanding it : very poor. I very often have to ask the person to repeat when he's a native speaker. (people who learnt english as a second language seems to understand each other quite easily, wherever they could come from)

From what I've it seems that most people are in the same situation when learning a language and find way easier to read/write than to speak.

Obviously, I lack practice. I should either attend courses or better, spend some time in the UK (didn't go there for years)
 
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Jul 17th, 2001, 07:28 AM
  #15
Betty
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I know we're a bit off the subject here, but I just want to say to Clairobscur: Most Americans would be thrilled to be able to speak, read or write any language other than American English with your level of skill. You're right, though, that speaking and understanding are much harder for most than the written language - it's a "whole different ball game". I took French for two years in high school, 4 years in college and taught for a year before I had the opportunity to live in France for a year. That, and only that, made me comfortable carrying on a conversation "en francais". Nothing takes the place of being immersed in the language and culture.
 
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