Gothic Cathedrals

Gothic architecture developed in the High Middle Ages from the Romanesque style. It had originated in twelve-century France. The largest number of surviving Gothic architectural works are cathedrals, although the Basilica of Saint Denis (Paris, France) is typically acknowledged to be the first Gothic building.

There are several stunning characteristics that distinguish Gothic cathedrals from Romanesque ones. Pointed arches, ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, large grouped windows and spires and pinnacles are all distinguishing features of the marvelous Gothic cathedrals. Verticality and light are also heavily emphasized, as in the Sainte-Chapelle, one of the most dazzling Gothic architectural examples ever built (see this article).

There is a possibility that there was Islamic influence in these cathedrals. The pointed arch from the seventh-century Islamic architecture is one possible influence.

Most Gothic cathedrals, or rather all, were built in the shape of a Latin cross, using the cruciform plan. This included a long rectangular nave with a transverse arm (cross shape).

Four of the most famous Gothic cathedrals are Salisbury Cathedral, Florence Cathedral, Notre-Dame, and my personal favorite, the stunning Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.

Florence Cathedral

Florence Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral



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