The cathedral was initiated by Maurice de Sullybishop of Paris, who about conceived the idea of converting into a single building, on a larger scale, the ruins of the two earlier basilicas. The foundation stone was laid by Pope Alexander III inand the high altar was consecrated in The choirthe western facade, and the nave were completed byand porches, chapels, and other embellishments were added over the next years.
Net vault of Prague Cathedral — Flamboyant rib vaults with ornamental ribs at Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral begun Fan-shaped rib vaults at Peterborough Cathedral — Both the pointed arch and the rib vault Gothic cathedrals been used in romanesque architecturebut Gothic builders refined them and used them to much greater effect.
They made the structures lighter and stronger, and thus allowed the great heights and expanses Gothic cathedrals stained glass found in Gothic cathedrals. This required massive columns, thick walls and small windows, and naturally limited the height of the building. The pointed or broken arch, introduced during the Romanesque period, was stronger, lighter, and carried the thrust outwards, rather than directly downwards.
The vault was supported by thin ribs or arches of stone, which reached downwards and outwards to cluster around supporting pillars along the inside of the walls.
The earlier rib vaults, used at Notre Dame, Noyon, and Laon, were divided by the ribs into six compartments, and could only cross a limited space. In later cathedral construction, the design was improved, and the rib vaults had only four compartments, and Gothic cathedrals cover a wider span; a single vault could cross the nave, and fewer pillars were needed.
The four-part vault was used at Amiens, Reims, and the other later cathedrals, and eventually at cathedrals across Europe. At Notre-Dame de Paristhe massive buttresses counter the outward thrust from the rib vaults of the nave.
Later flying buttresses of the apse of Notre-Dame 14th century reached 15 meters from the wall to the counter-supports. Flying buttresses of Amiens Cathedral — The flying buttresses at Amiens combined carefully-balanced weight with decoration drawing by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc Another important feature of Gothic architecture was the flying buttressdesigned to support the walls by means of arches connected to counter-supports outside the walls.
Flying buttresses had existed in simple forms since Roman times, but the Gothic builders raised their use to a fine art, balancing the thrust from the roof inside against the counter-thrust of the buttresses.
The earliest Gothic cathedrals, including Saint-Denis and Notre-Dame in its beginning stages, did not have flying buttresses. Their walls were supported by heavy stone abutments placed directly against the walls, The roof was supported by the ribs of the vaults, which were bundled with the columns below.
In the later 12th and early 13th century, the buttresses became more sophisticated. New arches carried the thrust of the weight entirely outside the walls, where it was met by the counter-thrust of stone columns, with pinnacles placed on top for decoration and for additional weight.
Thanks to this system of external buttresses, the walls could be higher and thinner, and could support larger stained glass windows.
The buttresses themselves became part of the decoration; the pinnacles became more and more ornate, becoming more and more elaborate, as at Beauvais Cathedral and Reims Cathedral.
The arches had an additional practical purpose; they contained lead channels which carried rain water off the roof; it was expelled from the mouths of stone gargoyles placed in rows on the buttresses.
Height[ edit ] Elevation of the early Noyon Cathedral ; Ground floor arcade of massive pillars supporting the roof; a second, smaller arcade, or tribune; the triforiuma narrow walkway; and top claire-voie with windows. Elevation of Nave at Chartres Cathedral The tribune has disappeared and windows have gotten higher.
Amiens Cathedral ; arcade, triforium and claire-voie. The increasing height of cathedrals over the Gothic period was accompanied by an increasing proportion of the wall devoted to windows, until, by the late Gothic, the interiors became like cages of glass.
This was made possible by the development of the flying buttress, which transferred the thrust of the weight of the roof to the supports outside the walls. As a result, the walls gradually became thinner and higher, and masonry was replaced with glass.
The four-part elevation of the naves of early Cathedrals such as Notre-Dame arcade, tribune, triforium, claire-voie was transformed in the choir of Beauvais Cathedral to very tall arcades, a thin triforium, and soaring windows up to the roof.
A portion of the choir collapsed incausing alarm in all of the cities with very tall cathedrals. Panels of experts were created in Sienna and Chartres to study the stability of those structures. No cathedral built since exceeded the height of the choir of Beauvais. In England the proportion is sometimes greater than 2: It contains fourteen of the original glass sections from the 12th century The Rayonnant north rose window of Notre-Dame de Paris about One of the most prominent features of Gothic architecture was the use of stained glass window, which steadily grew in height and size and filled cathedrals with light and color.
When the Abbot Suger ordered the reconstruction of the Basilica of Saint Denishe instructed that the windows in the choir admit as much light as possible. Many earlier Romanesque churches had stained glass windows, and many had round windows, called oculi.The architecture of cathedrals, basilicas and abbey churches is characterised by the buildings' large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that all ultimately derive from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in the Constantinian period..
Cathedrals, as well as many abbey churches and basilicas, have certain complex structural. Cathedral Building in the Middle Ages. The scale of medieval cathedrals amazes visitors to this day. Find out what drove people to build such monumental buildings, and how they did it. Gothic Revival in Europe was a reaction to the Classical Revival that had taken hold over the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Proponents of the Gothic Revival saw the movement not simply in structural terms, but in religious or spiritual terms as well.
Gothic Sculptures. Early Gothic Sculpture. As in the Romanesque period, the best Gothic sculptors were employed on architectural decoration. Almudena Cathedral is the cathedral of Madrid, alphabetnyc.com from the late 19th and 20th centuries, Almudena Cathedral is very new by European standards, .
Centuries of style. The cathedrals of Britain span the millennium - from the cathedrals dating from the s to the modern cathedrals found in Liverpool and Coventry.