Architecture has always been an integral part of the society and its culture. It not only defines the space of the community that it participates in but it also shapes the community’s place in history. Moreover, historians all over the world have found architecture playing a key role while they study the communities in time periods. Architecture helps the historian decipher the civilization's daily life and the values they hold. The historians are able to decipher as such by looking at the recurring structural feature and ornamental feature of certain buildings of certain time period. Some of the significant feature of the building usually defines the political regime or the religious values of the civilization.
During the 12th and the 13th century, a certain time period where the religious faith of Christianity were instilled throughout most of the western civilization. The time when mostly Gothic dominated the realm of expression. Gothic was everywhere; it was in painting, in sculpture, and primarily in architecture. Gothic architecture can understood thoroughly through the study in the form of cathedrals of that time. The cathedral stands as the most comprehensive of the various trends that was brought along with the gothic architecture. If there was a cataclysmic event during that time where every thing was destroyed except the cathedrals, they alone could help us define the values and all the questions about the time period.
It is interesting story that the cathedrals try to tell with scholasticism, politics, and the religion under the influential umbrella of the Christian ideology. While it was a very practical and expressive on its own rights a magnificent feat in engineering and symbolically; the most notable part of the building is how it embodies with in the energy of the Christianity, which was shining brighter in the medieval era than any other time. If one were to closely examine the design, motives and circumstances of each cathedral, one can further understand how the cathedrals communicated the aspects of medieval culture: the scholarships, the religion, the arts and the politics. Not only one can see these but it would also allow use to take a peek into the connection that the church had with its people.
Gothic cathedrals, giant walls of glass and a kaleidoscope of colors surrounded by a spider web of masonry walls and crowned with eerie gargoyles (Glassman, 2011). The origins of gothic cathedrals can be dated back to the 1137 A.D. and flourished and it glorifying years rely upon the late 13th century. In terms of origins they came about to satisfy the practical concerns as well as the need of designers to express them selves. There were number of reasons that the need for the development of the gothic architecture that developed from its proceeding Romanesque architecture. One of the main reasons being the wooden roof that kept burning down due to fire and the lack of aesthetic appeal (Gombrich, 1966). Due to the...