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Westminster Abbey – London

By |2017-07-31T10:53:24+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Westminster Abbey western facade (front) Westminster Abbey is a large church in the Gothic style in London, England. Edward the Confessor built an abbey here in 1050 AD, in the Romanesque style. (An abbey is a place for monks or nuns to live and pray) William the Conqueror was crowned in the Abbey. And since his time all English kings and queens have also been crowned [...]

St. Germain des Pres – Paris

By |2018-04-15T16:50:50+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

St. Germain des Pres (Paris, 1000 AD) In 542 AD, the Merovingian king Childebert (Clovis' son) was fighting the Visigoths in Spain when he heard that the people of Saragossa were praying to St. Vincent to save them. Childebert decided not to fight people under the protection of a Christian saint, and the people were so grateful to be [...]

Rouen cathedral – medieval France

By |2017-07-31T10:03:41+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Rouen cathedral (begun 1202 AD) The people of Rouen, in northern France, decided to build themselves a new cathedral in 1200 AD, just after people started building Chartres cathedral, and only about forty years after they began building Laon Cathedral and Notre Dame in Paris. Rouen nave Unlike these other cathedrals, though, it took more than three hundred years to [...]

Inside Reims cathedral – Nave and Transept

By |2017-07-31T09:49:52+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Elevation of the nave inside Reims cathedral One difference between Chartres cathedral and Reims cathedral was that at Reims they didn't build a deep gallery over the aisle. Instead, they just put in a shallow, fake gallery, that looked lighter. As at Chartres, this gallery is tiny compared to the big arches underneath. On the [...]

Notre Dame of Paris – Medieval Cathedral

By |2018-04-12T00:07:58+00:00July 31st, 2017|History|

Notre Dame of Paris (1160s AD) In 1160 AD, a hundred years after Matilda built the Abbaye aux Dames in Caen, and about the same time as they were building the new cathedral at Laon, the Bishop of Paris, Maurice de Sully, decided that Paris should also have a big newChristian church - after all, how could the French king allow his capital to [...]

Parts of a Church – Architecture

By |2017-07-30T17:40:56+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Notre Dame of Paris (1160s AD) Medieval architects designed most Romanesque and Gothic churches starting with the design of a Roman basilica. But many churches added a part coming out crossways. That made the whole church take the shape of a cross. It gave you more room for people to see the mass. And it reminded people how Jesus died on [...]

Chartres cathedral – inside the church

By |2017-07-30T17:22:30+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Chartres nave The architect started from the west end of the cathedral, at the nave. The builders built the nave very tall, the highest in France at that time - 120 feet. And, to keep the church from burning down again, they put on a stone roof instead of a wooden one. But a stone [...]

Amiens cathedral – medieval France

By |2018-04-14T12:42:35+00:00July 29th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Façade of Amiens cathedral in France Amiens is not far from Reims, in northern France, and when the bishop of Reims began building a big new cathedral in 1211 AD, naturally the bishop of Amiens wanted one too. In fact, Bishop Evrard of Amiens was determined to have the biggest cathedral in France, so he built his nave 138 feet high - [...]

What’s a flying buttress? Medieval Europe

By |2018-09-26T16:45:46+00:00May 24th, 2017|Architecture, History, Medieval, Northern Europe|

Flying buttress (Rouen Cathedral, 1200s AD) Gothic cathedrals In the 1100s AD, architects in northern France wanted to build big impressive Gothic cathedrals. They also wanted their cathedrals to be full of light, so they would be inspiring, not dark and depressing. What's a cathedral? Gothic cathedrals Lots of Middle Ages articles But [...]