Life and Miracles of Saint Nicholas

Chartres Cathedral, France

photos courtesy of Gordon Plumb

Chartres is said to have one of the most complete collections of medieval stained glass in the world. The glass escaped harm during the 16th century religious wars. During World War II it was safe-guarded by being removed and stored in the surrounding countryside. Following the war it was reinstalled. One of the large, tall windows on the north of the nave, bay 39, is devoted to the life and legends of Saint Nicholas. The glass dates from the early 13th century. The window is shown in sections, reversed, with links for the stories. The whole window may be seen below. The progression is shown from the bottom up, as that is the way a viewer would “read” the window. The cathedral has another large Saint Nicolas window from the same period.

St Nicolas, Chartres Cathedral, Photo © Gordon Plumb
Top: Infant Nicholas fasting
Middle: Answer to Prayer: Birth of Nicholas
Birth of Nicholas First Bath
Bottom: Donors: spice merchants, apothecaries
St Nicolas, Chartres Cathedral, Photo © Gordon Plumb
Famine Relief
Nicholas blessing; All grain delivered
St Nicolas, Chartres Cathedral, Photo © Gordon Plumb
Top: How Nicholas Became a Bishop
Middle: The Story of the Dowries
Nicholas gives gold; Father thanks Nicholas
Bottom: Nicholas the Student
St Nicolas, Chartres Cathedral, Photo © Gordon Plumb
Famine Relief
Nicholas asks for grain; Grain unloaded for Myra
St Nicolas, Chartres Cathedral, Photo © Gordon Plumb
Top: Consecration as Bishop
Middle: One Cup or Two
Boy falls into sea; Boy returned to parents
Bottom: Fire Did Not Consume
St Nicolas, Chartres Cathedral, Photo © Gordon Plumb
The Evil Butcher
Innkeeper lures students; Murders students
St Nicolas, Chartres Cathedral, Photo © Gordon Plumb
Top: The Guardian
Middle & below: The Deceitful Borrower
Nicholas as guarantor; Cart reveals fraud
Bottom: Hollow staff fraud
Whole window
Click to see entire window

Photos: copyright © Gordon Plumb, North Lincolnshire, England. Used by permission.

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