Set In Stone, Gothic Architecture Is Timeless
Not many would dispute that before the Gothic style of construction took off and progressed in France during the 1150s, buildings were only meant for housing. With the advent of this style of architecture, aesthetics and beauty of a structure also gained ground. Despite the fact that the style became popular at a break-neck speed, this modern style, as it would have been referred to as at that point in time, courted snubs from the champions of renaissance during the 1450s. It is now that the opponents of this style would name it Gothic, a term both pejorative and retrospective.
The term Goth stands for German people who fought against Rome hundreds of years before this architectural style came into being.
However, the disdain could not diminish the impact of what was already carved in stone. Between the 12th and 16th centuries, the architectural world across western Europe witnessed the evolution and progress of a construction style that would seep into the very basics of the art of building. A style that features pointed arches and windows along with tall and thin pillars as its distinctive feature, the Gothic architecture still inspires architects across the world.
MakaanIQ takes a look at some of the interesting facts about this form of architecture:
- Apart from the pointed arches, buildings that are built in Gothic style are marked with ornate facades and Gargoyales (monster figures) while displaying flying buttresses (a stone or brick structure that supports a wall), rib vaults (ceilings created by making a series of arches) and well-lit airy interiors.
- What began as a popular form to build churches and cathedrals across Europe in the medieval times later became popular for building castles and palaces, too. In more recent times, countries have used this architectural form to build government buildings and universities. In fact, during the 1800s, many university campuses across the world were built in the Gothic style. The world's best churches that also happen to feature in Unesco's heritage sites were built using the Gothic style.
- While the Gothic influence has not left any corner of the world architecture untouched, the best examples of old Gothic-style buildings are shared among Italy, France and Spain. The finest examples include Cologne Cathedral (Cologne, Germany), Canterbury Cathedral (England), Florence Cathedral (Florence), Basilica of St Denis (Paris), Notre Dame de Paris, etc. Among the revival buildings built in this style are London's Houses of Parliament, Parliament Hill in Ontario and the Washington Cathedral.
- While it primarily progressed upon the Romanesque architecture, there is a visible similarity between Islamic and Gothic constructions. The high pillars and ceilings and windy interiors are some of the shining examples. Most mosques in West Asia, for example, will find architectural similarities with old churches in western Europe.