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Labyrinthos Photographic & Illustration Library
Undoubtedly the best known labyrinth of its type, the beautifully preserved pavement
labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, France, was constructed during the second decade
of the 13th century. The labyrinth is 12.9 metres (42.3 ft.) in diameter and fills
the width of the nave. While much has been written about the purpose of this labyrinth,
little contemporary documentation survives, although it is known that labyrinths
in the French cathedrals were the scene of Easter dances carried out by the clergy.
It is also popularly assumed that they symbolise the long tortuous path that pilgrims
would have followed to visit this, and other shrines and cathedrals, during the medieval
Looking for photographs of other church and cathedral labyrinths elsewhere in Europe?
We have a separate page of images of these labyrinths -click here to see some of
We also have graphics and line illustrations of various church and cathedral labyrinths
available -click here to see some of our collection.
All of the images on this page (and many more besides!) are available in high resolution
digital formats for licensed reproduction. For details of reproduction fees and permission
procedures, send us an e-mail with details of your planned usage and format requirements.
Current interest ensures that this labyrinth continues to receive visits from pilgrims
to this day, although many are surprised to find the labyrinth often covered with
chairs. At the moment, the labyrinth is usually uncovered on Fridays, during the
summer months only.
Below are a selection of photos of the labyrinth and some additional shots of the