Gothic Cathedral Analysis

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Light was viewed as the source and essence of all visual beauty, and this aesthetic preference for “lucid”, “luminous”, and “clear” is widely reflected in the decorative stained glass windows used in gothic cathedral designs (Von Simson, 1974). Gothic cathedrals are mostly designed with large ornate and intricate stained glass windows, flying buttress and high ceilings to incorporate light and structural support, as well as to give a sense of openness, along with illumination, and drawing devotees’ eyes along the vertical lines up towards God (Cunningham & Reich, 2010). As light passes through the stained glass windows, the light becomes colorful and takes on a mysterious and mystical quality. Light is not just incorporated as a source of illumination…show more content…
Within the cathedral itself, these "curtain walls" of the pointed arches allow a sense of light, openness, and incredible height, which impacts one with awe, reinforcing the Church's power and influence in the medieval world (Schlager & Lauer, 2001). The flying buttress was first created to serve as additional structural support for the excess building weight as a result of the ever-present goal of cathedral designers and architects to increase the size and amount of windows on every wall. The pointed arches allowed for more spacious walls and taller ceilings, which translated to larger stained glass windows (Walford, 2002). The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, was the first gothic cathedral to include a true flying buttress in its design (Stanley, 2006), the south rose window of the cathedral is one of the largest rose windows in the world, with a diameter of approximately 43 feet. With such a large stained glass window, it was no surprise that when the 226 feet tall cathedral was completed, stress fractures formed due to the increased weight, called for the additional construction of the flying

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