The monumental Chartres Cathedral hides within its walls stories which connect the world of ancient Druids, the cult of the Divine Feminine and Christianity. It is located on a leyline linking Glastonbury, Stonehenge, and the Pyramids of Egypt. For centuries it has been one of the symbols of French Christianity.
However, before the times of Christianity the site where the cathedral is located, was a very important place in the pagan belief system. Its legendary roots come from the time when Druids, the Celtic priests of Britain and Gaul, held sacred rites there. The territory of Chartres was highly influenced by the Carnutes, a Gaulish people who had a vast Druid assembly. They were mentioned by Gaius Julius Caesar and Livy, who recorded the legendary traditions of the Carnutes.
During the Gallo-Roman times, the underground waters of the site were believed to have been revered by the Druids. Legend also says that Roman soldiers attacked Christians while they were celebrating their faith at the virgin shrine. It seems that Christians identified the mother goddess of the Druids with the virgin Mary. This too may have become the basis for future ideas to building a magnificent cathedral at the site. The building began on a hill at Chartres around the 4th century AD.
The first centuries of Christianity were like a fight between the old traditions of Chartres and the new ones. However, during the rule of Emperor Constantine, Christianity seemed to be already well established. There were at least five cathedrals, always connected with the cult of the Virgin Mary, who became also a patron saint of Chartres. The biggest treasure of the church became a piece of cloth, which is believed to be the garment (known as the Sancta Camisa ) which Mary wore when she gave birth to Jesus.
Nonetheless, the cathedral was damaged by fires in 1134 and 1194, however in both instances, people renovated the church immediately after and the Sancta Camisa survived without any damage. The people of Chartres decided that this was a sign from heaven that the place where their church was located is special and they should construct a much more impressive building there. Thus, they created the cathedral, which still stands at Chartres.