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Notre Dame of Paris – Medieval Cathedral

By |2019-04-16T12:33:32-07:00July 31st, 2017|History|

Notre Dame of Paris (1160s AD) Why did Sully build Notre Dame? It was 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 [...]

Laon Cathedral – Laon, France

By |2019-03-26T06:56:44-07:00July 30th, 2017|Medieval|

Laon Cathedral, France(begun 1160 AD) Where is Laon? In 1100 AD, Laon was a very rich town in northern France, with strong walls and a lot of farmland. It's on top of a high hill, so Laon (pronounced LON but you can just barely hear the N) was pretty much safe from enemies. More medieval cathedrals [...]

Gothic Cathedral – Middle Ages – History of architecture

By |2019-03-06T07:12:15-07:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Gothic cathedral: Nave of Rouen cathedral (1200s AD) Northern France gets rich enough to build cathedrals In the late 1100s and early 1200s AD, the kings of France, Philip and his son Louis, whose capital was Paris in the north, managed to conquer the south of France and make it part of their kingdom. What's a [...]

The Duomo in Florence, Italy

By |2019-05-18T21:24:42-07:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

The Duomo in Florence (cathedral) Why did Florence want a new cathedral? The Republic of Florence started to plan this cathedral in the late 1200s AD, when Dante was growing up, to replace the old cathedral from about 500 AD that was too small and old. Medieval Florence Who was Dante? The Florence baptistery Medieval architecture All our medieval Europe articles They [...]

Early Gothic architecture

By |2019-05-20T04:52:56-07:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Early Gothic architecture: Notre Dame of Paris (1160s AD) What came after Romanesque? After the Romanesque period in architecture, around 1100 AD, architects in western Europe gradually started to build Christian churches and palaces in the Gothic style. Romanesque architecture Medieval architecture All our medieval Europe articles The easiest difference to see between the two styles is that [...]

What is a cloister? Medieval architecture

By |2019-04-10T15:41:16-07:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Cloister at Moissac (ca. 1100 AD, southern France) Where do cloisters come from? Cloisters were a medieval kind of building that developed out of Greek and then Roman peristyles. What is a peristyle? More medieval architecture All our medieval Europe articles What is a cloister? A cloister is a courtyard garden inside a building. [...]

Chartres cathedral transepts

By |2018-04-24T08:01:24-07:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Chartres cathedral crossing and transept When the builders were done with the nave, they built the great big columns of the crossing. Like the columns of the nave, the crossing columns went almost uninterrupted all the way up, to draw your eyes upward. They were made to look like a lot of little columns, [...]

Chartres cathedral – inside the church

By |2019-03-16T09:35:19-07:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Chartres nave Inside Chartres cathedral 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. [...]

Chartres cathedral – medieval France

By |2019-03-13T19:23:01-07:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Chartres on the horizon Why was Chartres so important? Even though Chartres, near Paris, France, was only a small town, it had an important treasure: the dress that people said Mary was wearing when she gave birth to the baby Jesus (or maybe when she found out she was pregnant). Thousands of people came on pilgrimage every year to [...]

Medieval cathedrals – Architecture

By |2018-10-12T08:26:05-07:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Medieval cathedrals: Façade of Amiens cathedral in France What is a cathedral? A cathedral is any Christian church where a bishop has his headquarters. No matter how big a church is, if there's no bishop working in it, then it's not a cathedral. More about bishops Lots more Middle Ages articles For instance, the cathedral of Laon in [...]