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Gothic cathedrals

Gothic, Gothic style arose and dominated the Western artistic culture immediately after romance. Gothic art originated in France around 1140 years and spread throughout Europe in the next century. The term “Gothic” applied to the late, high or classical ages. Gothic style served primarily the Church. The Gothic period is considered to be one of the greatest in the history of European art and culture.

Gothic style is most clearly represented in the architecture.

A characteristic feature of the Gothic style steel ribbed vaults. The medieval churches of the Romanesque style had a powerful stone arches, which were very heavy. They sought to shore, to push the walls outward, which could bring down the building. To keep such arches, the walls of the Romanesque buildings had to be thick and heavy. At the beginning of the 12th century, masons developed the ribbed vaults: slender stone arches, placed diagonally, transversely and longitudinally. These arches could rely just on columns, walls ceased to be load-bearing structures. In the construction so there was a real revolution. The new vault, which was thinner and lighter, has allowed to solve many architectural problems. The thick walls of Romanesque architecture were replaced by more subtle; they have become possible to make extensive window openings, so that the naves of churches became oshosatori bright. In the giant window began to mount the stained glass Windows of colored glass, strengthening the impression of conviviality and different from everyday life.

Gothic arch informed the councils General character of lightness, upwards. The temples have become much more dynamic and expressive. The first of the great cathedrals was the Cathedral of Notre Dame (begun in 1163). In 1194 was laid for the Cathedral in Chartres, which is considered the beginning of the high Gothic period. The culmination of this era was the Cathedral at Reims (begun 1210). The influence of the French Gothic style quickly spread to Spain, Germany, England. In Italy it was not so strong.

Following Roman tradition, in numerous niches on the facade of French Gothic cathedrals housed in quality jewelry a huge number of carved stone figures personifying the tenets and beliefs of the Catholic Church. Gothic sculpture in the 12th and early 13th century, was by its nature mainly architectural. From the fourteenth century to the ornaments of Gothic cathedrals was added to the finest stone carvings, stone lacework. This style is sometimes called “flaming Gothic”.

Gothic cathedrals in medieval European cities were the most noticeable, the most beautiful buildings that the Church’s role in life and culture. The Cathedral was the decoration of the city, and hence a symbol of his wealth. In the days of religious holidays (and they are in the middle ages there were many, and they often lasted not one day) the Cathedral became a major centre of social life where citizens came to theatrical performances.

The Gothic age ended in Italy in the early FIFTEENTH century with the advent of the Renaissance. In the rest of Europe Gothic art and architecture continued to exist during most of the fifteenth century, and some parts of Europe and in the XVI century.