Gothic Architecture in France
The Romanesque and Gothic styles herald one of the most important periods in art history, the Renaissance. The contributions from the Gothic architectural period are few, yet remarkable. Even though the Gothic era roughly lasted two hundred years (12th-14th century), it was long enough to voyage deeper into the beautiful and complex world of architecture. These contributions revolutionized the building habits throughout the European world, including England. This essay will discuss these essential elements of Gothic style in French cathedrals.
The categorization "gothic," that has been associated to this period of great architectural advancement, was first given in the 18th century. However, the "gothic" label was given as an insulting name to show the unrefined, savage, and crude look of the architectural style. Now, these very same architectural styles have become a symbol of wealth and prosperity for many European cities.
The first Gothic architectural project will begin with the rebuilding of the Royal Abbey Church of St.
Denis by Abbott Suger. This cathedral is located North of Paris. The apse of the original church of Abbot Suger's caught fire in 1140, so reconstruction was necessary. This church was a shrine of the Apostle of France, as well as a memorial to the Carolingian Dynasty. Some of the Kings of France were buried there. The rebuilding of the Abbey was underway with something new in mind.
Most churches had wooden rafters, which will be replaced with stone vaults, but Abbott Suger had the stone vaults replaced with pointed arches and complex ribbed vaults. In addition, buttresses were newly created for the structural soundness of these cathedrals. As time moves on, flying buttresses will be an integral part for cathedral construction in the High Gothic period.
The architectural structure of the Abbey of St. Denis differs from...