Architecture of Cathedrals and Great Churches

Some of the great Gothic cathedrals around the world are absolutely massive, large enough to house the Statue of Liberty. An estimated 100 million pounds of stone holds some of them together. The architecture of these 1,000 year old buildings reach spectacular heights and depict incredibly elegant designs.

Its a pity that the word Gothic is associated with darkness, bad eyeliner, and depression when the origin of the word has nothing to do with any of those things. Gothic Cathedrals are meant to bring happy sunshine to their visitors with extravagant amounts of painted glass.

The style of the cathedrals only has a slight variation from its predecessor the Romanesque style.

The Roman style is much bulkier and rounded and its design cannot support the kind of stone the Gothic style can. From the year 1,000 to the 1,400’s there was relative peace and thus time for significant structures to be made. Britain and France are some of the first to have buildings in the Gothic style.

The majoring difference in the Gothic structures is a pointed arch and its ability to disperse pressure inward, toward the ground, rather than near the top of the columns. This prevents the arches from caving in. With this kind of design, 12th century engineers had the ability to make churches 12 stories tall! Some of the cathedrals took more than 100 years to build!

Famous Cathedrals

  • About 50 miles from Paris, the Chartres Cathedral stands, one of the greatest achievements in the history of architecture. The building is almost perfectly preserved down to the smallest of details. Every single stained glass window remains authentic as well as the Cycle of Portal Sculpture.
  • Another exquisite cathedral lies in Germany called the Cologne Cathedral, their most visited tourism site. The construction started in 1248 and wasn’t officially complete until 1880. Aside from its intense intrinsic value and beauty, its a testimony to the longevity of European Christianity.
  • The Duomo Di Milano is one of the most famous buildings in Europe, it is the largest gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic Cathedral. The structure stood as one of the most important buildings in the Roman city of Mediolanum. Even streets and branch out from the church. Construction started in 1386 when archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo started the project. It wasn’t completed until 1880, the same as the Cologne Cathedral, but there are still blocks set aside to add to the church.

Whether or not you’ve ever considered visiting these sites, they are truly magnificent and deserve all the gandering you can muster. Next time you’re on a trip to Europe consider visiting these churches and their glorious spectacle. What a strong depiction of the faith these represent, that man has the ability to build in this way, without heavy machinery and power tools!

I’m going to make it a point to visit the Duomo Di Milano in my lifetime for sure. How about we go together?

God bless.