The town, with its numerous spires and remains of medieval fortifications, is very picturesque.
But unfortunately for Germany the papal chair at this time was occupied by Innocent III., a pope who emulated Hildebrand in ambition and in statesmanship. At first vacillating, but by no means indifferent, Innocent was spurred to action when a number of princes met at Spires in May 1200, declared Philip to be the lawful king, and denied the right of the pope to interfere, lie was also annoyed by Philips attitude with regard to a vacancy in the archbishopric of Cologne, and in March 1201 he declared definitely for Otto.
The first choir was burned down in 1213, but was rebuilt in 1242 at the same time as the transept, and is a superb specimen of pointed Gothic. There are five towers with spires, which give the outside an impressive appearance, and much has been done towards removing the squalid buildings that formerly concealed the cathedral.
Presented it to the bishopric of Spires; in the 13th century it obtained civic privileges and passed to the counts of Sponheim; in 1416 it became part of the Palatinate.
Chartres is built on the left bank of the Eure, on a hill crowned by its famous cathedral, the spires of which are a landmark in the surrounding country.