Europe’s Great Gothic Cathedrals Weren’t Built Just Of Concrete

Europe’s Great Gothic Cathedrals Weren’t Built Just Of Concrete

However, as the French Gothic rose to great heights, English architects built grandeur in larger horizontal floor plans, rather than height. Built between 1140 and 1144, St. Denis became a model for most of the late 12th-century French cathedrals, including those at Chartres and Senlis. However, features of the Gothic style are found in earlier buildings in Normandy and elsewhere. The Gothic architecture style found in churches, synagogues, and cathedrals built between approximately 1100 to 1450 CE, stirred the imagination of painters, poets, and religious thinkers in Europe and Great Britain. Travel throughout Europe and you’ll cross paths with plenty of Gothic cathedrals and churches. Many of the famous cathedrals are based in France, the birthplace of the style.

  • An exceptionally large and elaborate Gothic cathedral on the main square of Milan, the Duomo di Milano is one of the most famous buildings in Europe.
  • It is a decorative window shaped like a circle, sometimes featuring stained glass.
  • Though it originated in the Middle Ages, the one-of-a-kind genre continues to captivate today, as evident in some of Europe’s most beautiful buildings.
  • The builders of Notre-Dame went further by introducing the flying buttress, heavy columns of support outside the walls connected by arches to the upper walls.
  • This method was used at Chartres Cathedral (1194–1220), Amiens Cathedral , and Reims Cathedral.
  • The nave was intersected by a shorter transept at a 90-degree angle, making the structure have the shape of a cross.

There is usually a single or double ambulatory, or aisle, around the choir and east end, so parishioners and pilgrims could walk freely easily around east end. In Early French Gothic architecture, the capitals of the columns were modeled after Roman columns of the Corinthian order, with finely-sculpted leaves. According to its builder, the Abbot Suger, they were inspired by the columns he had seen in the ancient baths in Rome. They were used later at Sens, at Notre-Dame de Paris and at Canterbury in England. The first of these new vaults had an additional rib, called a tierceron, which ran down the median of the vault.

Builders Discover Pointed Arches

In Siena, Italy, a massive extension planned for its nave was never completed, and its unfinished walls and arches still form part of the skyline. King’s College Chapel, Cambridge is one of the finest examples of the late Gothic style. It was built by King Henry VI, who was displeased by the excessive decoration of earlier styles.

Another Italian Gem: Orvieto Cathedral

The buttresses allowed the architects to keep the thin walls and large windows that defined the Gothic style. Yes, that’s right – the city of Prague was once the center of Gothic architecture in Europe.

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