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Gothic architecture.
Architecture is the art of creating masterpieces, among which we live and which we admire every day. We pass by, not knowing how much effort, knowledge and talent invested in…

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The most magnificent Gothic cathedrals in France

Chartres Cathedral

The Cathedral in Chartres (XII-XIV centuries) is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. Chartres, where the precious relics of our lady, enjoyed the special protection of king Louis IX, who gave the Cathedral a large window-rose. Stained glass Windows donated to the Cathedral, the artisans of the city.

In the construction of the Cathedral was attended by many people: for example, in 40-ies of the XII century Norman thousands of pilgrims came to Chartres and a few months to destroy stone blocks in the walls of the Cathedral reach two to three meters long and one meter in height. The Western facade is the only thing that survived from an earlier building. Its creation dates to 1170. The façade is adorned with three richly decorated with magnificent stone carvings of the portal belonging to the XII century. From the North and South facades of the building you can see is very typical of French Gothic, a huge, round lace box, in which the openings in lead casements inserted stained glass. The diameter of the Windows of the transept is 13 meters. A screen similar to this entered art history under the name “rose”. It first appeared in the Chartres Cathedral, as claimed, by order of king St. Louis IX and his wife Queen Blanca of Castile. On the stained glass “rose” you can see the coats of arms of France and Castile, scenes from the earthly life of the virgin and scenes from the last judgment. The Cathedral in Chartres is better lit than Paris, from the tall Windows of the nave, the tracery capillarising its chorus and the bright, bluish-purple color stained glass, you’ll be cross-developed space, restrained nobility of the interior, covered with four private vaults,the organicity of structure. “Royal portal” (1145— 1155.) of the Cathedral in Chartres is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture. The Cathedral in Chartres was also famous for its stained glass Windows,which covered an area of more than two and a half thousand square meters. In 1194, the Chartres Cathedral is almost completely destroyed, survived only a “Royal portal” and the base of the towers. Later the building was rebuilt. The construction of the Cathedral was considered a righteous deed for which a believer will be forgiven of his sins and ensure salvation in heaven.

]The Cathedral in Angers.

The Cathedral in Angers is related to the Gothic designs that retained all the features of the Western regions of France. The author of the project was thickening of the walls.

He sought to balance the distribution of gravity, increasing vertical load. The vault of the temple strongly convex. His powerful rib are one of the ornaments of the building, as passing between the two rollers flat ribbon covered with carvings; between them stretched like a garland of flowers. In the Cathedral is preserved the stained-glass Windows, Dating back to different periods.

Notre-Dame de Paris

The characteristic features of early Gothic architecture is embodied in the main Cathedral of the capital of France — Notre Dame de Paris (Notre Dame). Majestic Notre Dame de Paris was laid in  but its construction lasted for several centuries until the fourteenth century, the Cathedral is a Basilica with a length of one hundred twenty-nine meters, consisting of five longitudinal and one transverse nave — transept. This is a Grand (length 130 W, the height of the arches At 32,5), its temple,divided in the middle of the length of the short transept and the choir finished with a double bypass (1182), so the entire plan fits into a rectangle. When chastiseth the same round arches and pillars of the main arcade is topped by capitals, put them on the wall still she got a massive large top box required for lighting of the nave, the Choir of the Cathedral, and the facade with its clear horizontal and vertical articulation, as would be hard-embedded in the dense wall of portals, magnificent rose and as if grown from the body structures of monumental towers is a perfect product of a well-established style.

In the temple are three entrances, the portal, leaving framed in the depth of the arches; above them are niches with statues — the so-called “king gallery”, images of the biblical kings and French kings, which they identified with the characters of the old Testament. The centre of the Western facade is decorated with window-rose, and above the side portals stretched up Windows under pointed arches. On the towers of the Cathedral are sculptures of fantastic monsters — the chimeras. In Notre-Dame de Paris combines the features of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Massive towers of the facade are characteristic of Romanesque architecture, while the cross vault resting on arches, the use of flying buttresses, flying buttresses, pointed arches and multiple Windows — the features characteristic of Gothic art. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris responded to the increased political importance of the city

as the state capital and has completed the first stage of development of the Gothic style.

Reims Cathedral

Reims Cathedral

The architecture of the Reims Cathedral (1211-1331) when the tectonic rigor of building peculiar to the underlined verticalism, the elongation of all elements and shapes, the abundance of sculptures and decorative details, which, like luxuriant underbrush, make our way up, crossing horizontal divisions. Even Lancet framing of the portals is so increased that the Central tympanum cuts through another rose. The entire outline of the facade is facilitated, noticeably Sivas up. The main facade of the Cathedral of Reims is significantly different from classical Facade .Portals. leaning forward. deep-lying rose framed by high arches and a high second floor creating a new type of Gothic facade. in him strongly dominated by vertical lines and admire the capitals are on the same level ,not interrupting thereby the alternation of vertical and horizontal lines.This impression is enhanced by the monotony of the similar decoration of the side aisles.


In the XIII-XV centuries, Gothic architecture spread in different countries of Europe, acquiring certain characteristics, and rose gradually from the Romanesque style rendering it almost invisible innovations. In the THIRTEENTH century increased communication between the two kingdoms of Spain and France. French architects are working in Spain. Traces of their occupation can be seen in the cathedrals of Leon, Burgos and Toledo. The Spanish architecture of the THIRTEENTH century it seems the French branch. Almost always hostile, but always close relationship with Britain could not affect the architecture of both kingdoms. For example, the French architect Guillaume from sans 1175 built the Cathedral in Kintbury. Being the closest of all other English churches to the French plan, the Westminster Abbey is a memorial of a close relationship between the kingdoms. Its choir is surrounded by a crown of chapels, the Central nave is higher than was customary in

English churches. The influence of the English Gothic to French, falling in the XV century, is not confined to the main structure of buildings, but mainly their “dazzling decor” Wonderful Gothic architecture of the fourteenth century the Czech Republic is also linked to

the name of the French architect Mathieu of Arras, which began construction of the Cathedral of St. Vitus at Prague castle.

Preserved information about what 1287 year Etienne de Bonneuil sailed with the assistant to Sweden to build the Cathedral in Uppsala. N

Gothic, as an architectural style, characteristic for a certain epoch the whole of Western Europe, but the leading role in its creation, development and implementation belonged to France.