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Gothic Architecture Amiens Cathedral Essay

1214 words - 5 pages

The word gothic is related to characteristics such as dark, haunted, black, etc. but that was not always the case. In the Medieval period, Gothic style architecture was built to create plenty of entryways for sunlight. The brightness was meant to brighten lives, even more so in churches (Frankl & Crossley, 2000). The Gothic style was also a part of the movement away from the simply architectural style that was previously used (Murray, 1996). Gothic style was not just developed out of nowhere. It had evolved from the previous and relatively similar Romanesque style. Both of these styles were consider the break of similarity. Gothic style in particular was recognized by its point arches, slender columns, and ribbed vaults. The use of the pointed arches is what allowed the architects to use thinner columns (Murray, 1996). The arches put less stress on the surrounding elements, therefore the columns did not need as much support. Ribbed vaulting a characteristic that was seen throughout Romanesque style. Ribbed vaults are the intersection of two or three barrel vaults. There are often thinly vaulted webs in between the separate ribs as well. Gothic style was expressed in many churches and cathedrals in France throughout the 12th to 16th century. In this paper, I am going to focus on the tallest completed gothic style cathedral in France, Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Amiens.
In 1152, Amiens Cathedral was originally built in Romanesque style, but due to a fire the cathedral was ruined in 1218. Bishop Evard de Fouilly introduced the reconstruction plan of the Amiens Cathedral in 1220 (Unesco). This was the period in time known for when Gothic style was being evolved from Romanesque style; therefore, the restored Amiens Cathedral takes on the gothic style of architecture. The cathedral is located about 75 miles north of Paris in the administrative capital of the Picardy region, Amiens. The cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals from the 13th century. The architects were trying to maximize the height. The reason for maximum height was to get as close to the heavens and bring in as much light as possible. There were multiple architects during the construction; the starting architect was Robert de Luzarches, then Thomas de Cormont, and then the finishing architect Renaud de Cormont. Once starting in 1220, the nave was completed in 1245, the choir was completed before 1269, and the rest of the main building was completed by 1288. Additions were still being constructed after 1288. The south and north tower were finished in 1366 and 1401 respectively (Unesco). The completed cathedral possessed a very respectable three-tier interior elevation and reached a record height of 42.3 m (138.8 ft.).
Although the overall skeletal structure was impressive, the Amiens Cathedral has extraordinary works of art throughout the building. One of the most common piece of work that is noticed in most gothic style cathedrals is the rose window or other known as...

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