What came after Romanesque?
The idea for the pointed arch probably came from Islamic architecture, where slightly pointed arches appear as early as the 600s in the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem. Pointed arches soon became common in North Africa and Spain.
But there are a lot of other differences between Romanesque and Gothic architecture as well. Gothic churches in northern Europe have many more windows, and much bigger windows, and so they are not dark like Romanesque churches. They’re more appropriate for dark northern Europe, instead of sunny, hot southern Europe.
This is because the architects have learned some new ways of making roofs and of supporting walls. And, where many Romanesque churches had wooden roofs (which were always catching fire), Gothic churches had safer stone roofs (with a wood framework over the top to hold the roof tiles).
Bigger, fancier churches
Gothic churches in northern Europe are also usually bigger than Romanesque churches there.
By 1200 AD, people in northern Europe had more money available, and they could afford to spend more on building great churches. They had conquered a lot of southern France, and they were trading more with the Islamic Empire.