The as Opus Francigenum “French work” which was

I have opted for

This style of
architecture originated in 12th century northern France and lasted into the
16th century. It
and was succeeded by renaissance architecture. It was previously known as Opus
Francigenum “French work” which was later renamed as

It evolved

Their aim was to create
greater height,
become flooded with light
increase volume
within these churches in comparison to the gloom left by the Romanesque churches.


of gothic architecture to help to identify it. First off instead of drum-like columns as seen in Romanesque churches, the new columns are slimmer. In the
vaulting pointed arches can be seen in three dimensions where the ribbed vaulting meets middle of the ceiling bay, these pointed arches were
a fundamental part of the design as they relived some of pressure on other structural
elements, also the
pointed arch could span a wider distance than a rounded one. This meant that
windows could become bigger. The ribbed vaulting is another distinguishing feature of Gothic architecture,
ribbed meaning an extra strip of stone. But this did not start here as pointed arches and ribbed vaulting were seen first in late Romanesque buildings. Buttress
was another form of exterior support; these are on the on face of a building either
to strengthen it or to prevent the weight on an arch or roof. The development of Flying Buttresses meant that
walls could be built much thinner and higher. They are also used as a form decoration.

The last major gothic feature would be tracery which is the stonework elements that
support the glass in a Gothic
window.  Gothic Architecture went through three
distinctive phases. The Early phase also known as transitional phase,
the high phase also known as classic phase/ rayonnant style and the late gothic
phase, also known as the ‘flamboyant’ gothic style. The early phase ranged from
1150-1200. An example of the early phase is Notre Dame (Paris). The design is higher and
lighter in appearance than the Romanesque style but they are not as heavily
decorated as the later gothic phases. The high phase ranged from 1200-1300. An
example being Reims Cathedral in France. Distinguishing features here include
huge deep doorways, with large rose windows, and hugely decorated areas. The
late gothic phase ranged from 1300-1550. An example of this phase being Milan
Cathedral in Italy. They took decoration and lightening the structure to an
extreme in this stage. There should be no space plain or undecorated.



My first creative is Abbot Suger, born near Paris in 1081. Suger is associated with
the invention of Gothic architecture. He was one of
the earliest patrons of Gothic architecture, and is widely credited with
popularizing the style. In 1140–44 he
parts of the
royal basilica of
Saint-Denis. The first major
which was then followed more great

The Royal Basilica of Saint Denis is important because it was the burial place
of the royal family of which Suger was the advisor to. In 1091 he was brought to the abbey
of Saint-Denis to be educated by the monks. His closest friend at the abbey was
Louis Capet. This
boy became King Louis VI in 1108. Suger was a
secretary to the abbot Adam of Saint-Denis as well as the adviser to the king. In
1122 Suger was elected abbot of Saint-Denis. After King Louis’s death in
1137, Suger concentrated all of his efforts for the
next five years on completing the rebuilding of Saint-Denis, which had only
been neglected and deteriorating over the years. Firstly,
Suger completed the ambulatory and the facade of the church, none of this was
new construction as there was a previous church here but Suger felt it was
inadequate as the king’s place of burial. As the king’s power was expanding,
Suger felt he needed to create the gothic style that would express the growing
power of the monarch. He included
an original use of the pointed arches rather than the round arches, the
ribbed vaulting and extensive use
of stained glass, including
a rose window in the facade.

Much of
the cathedral was rebuilt
a later style of Gothic during
1230s. “The dull mind rises to truth through that which is
material. And, in seeing this light, is resurrected from is former submersion.”
Abbott Suger



My Second Creative is
Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. A French architect born in Paris in 1814, known for his
famous restorations of medieval buildings. In 1836 he traveled to Italy, where he spent 16
months studying architecture. Back in France he was
so drawn to Gothic art that is where he first got trained. J.B. Lassus first
trained Viollet-le-Duc as a medieval archaeologist on the restoration of
Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois. In 1844 Viollet-le-Duc and Lassus were appointed the
restoration of Notre Dame cathedral meaning
‘Our Lady of Paris’. This was done in the Gothic style. The Notre Dame Cathedral with its sculptures and stained
glass windows show the huge influence of naturalism, unlike that of earlier
Romanesque architecture. This is the building in which
Viollet-le-Duc gained national attention from. It is now one of the most
remarkable and oldest cathedrals in France. “This commission was regarded as an
official sanction for the Gothic Revival movement in France.” (Sampaolo,
2017). The Notre Dame was cleaned,
updated and restored as well as gaining its distinctive third tower in addition
to many other small changes. In many of Viollet-le-Duc’s plans, sketches and
drawings include several objects which can be seen in the Notre Dame. These
include the chair, the bench work, chandeliers and liturgical silver. As we know, this building is
mainly French Gothic, but there are some other known styles throughout the
building. We can notice scattered styles including Renaissance and Naturalism
throughout which demonstrates the varying styles only adding to the
characteristics of the cathedral. Notre
Dame is probably the most famous
of all Gothic buildings, it is located on the Ile de la Cite island in the very
centre of Paris. It was built between 1163 and 1345.



My third creative is Sir
Benjamin Lee Guinness. Born in Ireland on the 1 November 1798. Benjamin Lee Guinness was an
Irish Brewer and Philanthropist with a keen interest in architecture. In 1860
he undertook the restoration of St. Patrick’s cathedral in Dublin, one of the
best-known cathedrals in Ireland. He did this at his own expense, without
hiring an architect also asking for no interference. The site of the cathedral
was traditionally associated with St. Patrick and is said to have had a church
on the grounds since the 10th century. It was the year 1213 when the
original church was raised to cathedral status. Over the following years it was
nearly totally rebuilt. By the 19th Century the cathedral had fallen
into a poor state and that’s when Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness stepped in. Larger
portions of the present church are the result of the restoration he did. A lot
of his changes caused a lot of controversy. The pointed arches were included to
draw your eyes up to god. Guinness removed the partitions separating the
cathedral into different parts as he felt an open plan layout was more attractive.

He also extended the ceiling to wrap around the whole building. Guinness was
careful with his renovations, he was good at keeping in mind the original
structures therefore making the building look how it would in the 13th
century but in fact most of the stonework had been replaced. “Since St. Patrick’s
Cathedral became the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland, it has been
used extensively for national occasions.” (O’Neill,




In conclusion, after doing my research on
Gothic Architecture I have changed my opinion and my association with the word
Gothic from dark, scary, haunted and black, to now associating the word with beautiful
bright buildings with great height and space used well with slim elegant
features and decoration. 


I'm Mary!

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