Create a new account

It's simple, and free.

Gothic Cathedral Architecture

Gothic architecture eventually began to supplant Romanesque architecture during the twelfth century in Ile-de-France, on the outskirts of Paris. The Early Gothic Period (1140-1194), the High Gothic Period (1194-1300) and the Late Gothic Period (1300-1700) produced some of the greatest architecture in history, including many famous cathedrals like Laon, Chartres, and Amiens. Like many cultures that rise in power, there are transformations in society, of thought, of politics, of religion, and of art. The transformation from Romanesque architecture to Gothic “was concurrent with the central power of the French kings. It first spread to England because of the Norman Conquest. Later, it spread to Italy and Germany. As the Romanesque elements began to be replaced by regional characteristics, the various styles merged into what is termed International Gothic style” (Cultural 2).

Behind the new style of architecture that was criticized by Renaissance critics for abandoning the elements of Classical Greece and Rome was a new philosophy in France. It would be the French perspective of God and society that the structure of the cathedrals would symbolize. The leaders and architects of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were proud of their abandonment of the standards of Greece and Rome. They saw their ideology and architecture as new and unique “They recognized in these structures that towered over their towns a style of building and of decoration that was original. It was with confidence in their own faith that they regarded their cathedrals as the real image of the City of God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, which they were privileged to build on earth” (Tansey 372).

In actuality, the Gothic cathedrals were built adopting the Roman basilica. However, the basilica is modified by the addition of a Christian cross, a central nave, two lateral aisles, and an apse for the choir. One of the more outstanding features of the Go...

Page 1 of 4 Next >

More on Gothic Cathedral Architecture...

APA     MLA     Chicago
Gothic Cathedral Architecture. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:44, May 28, 2020, from