Gothic architecture

Romanesque art that originated at the first Christian relations of the West with Asia, marks the first steps of architecture, working their way up in the light, ischadium from the East. Some attempts are not consistent, but everywhere one and the same aspiration: to cover the Church vaults. And, of course, the right decision is the one that was used by the Romans in their three-nave halls: groin, giving the opportunity to highlight them blocked the aisle.

Note: According to the terminology of G. Sedlmayr — “baldachins arch”. Cm. “History of architecture in selected passages”, M. 1935 ed in the BAA, article “the First architectural system of the middle ages” (p. 157). Main latest works devoted to the leading issues of Gothic architecture: R. Lasteyrie, L’architecture religieuse en France a l epoque gothique. I—II, 1926-1927; Karlinger H. Die Kunst der Gotik, 1927; E. Gall Die Gotische Baukunst, I, 1925; Clasen in “Handb. d. Kunstwissenschaft”, 1930.

But, not being able to implement cross-vaulting for Roman model, i.e. monolithic concrete, hesitate to build them out of stone, pritesannye without special care. However, this imperfect arch is a risk to build only the small bays of the aisles,when it comes to the main aisle, begin fluctuations, the implementation becomes difficult, stability is questionable. Resort to various tricks.

Progress, marking the era of Gothic architecture, expressed mainly in final and consecutive solution of the dual problem: calculations of cross vaults and the achievement of their sustainability. Gothic architecture will overcome the difficulties of the calculations the use of ribbed vaults, and the stability problem will solve by the introduction of flying buttresses. And it is these two innovations of the Gothic Church will be different from Romanesque churches of the type that was created last architects Cluny school. Recall the design of Vesle; imagine a rib under the cross vaults and arches in places where they applied the thrust — once the clutch is simplified, provided will be the equilibrium, i.e., the realized ideal, which sought Romanesque art.

The history of Gothic architecture is the history and the ribs were added. But, before proceeding to the analysis of the functions of these two main elements of a new architecture, it was necessary to consider the techniques that she uses.


The materials are the same as in Romanesque architecture: almost all French cathedrals built of hewn and rubble stone, mostly small. Due to the lack of communications had for the most part, to use stone from nearby quarries, and the stone is often insufficiently strong. Meanwhile, it came to buildings of unprecedented height, which created tremendous stress; one had to reckon with the draught of the base and with the shrinkage of the mass of masonry. The strength of the building was probably less dependent on these deformations, we need to reach, so to speak, the elasticity of the masonry.

Poor quality material must be reimbursed the correct distribution of loads, the design must have certain flexibilities, are the two main ideas that are, apparently, constantly possessed by thoughts of the Gothic architects.


Almost all Gothic churches tradition ascribes the foundations on piles. In fact, none of the foundations surveyed so far, did not confirm this legend: in those churches where it is allowed, as, for example, in the Cathedral of Notre Dame * and at Amiens Cathedral * the Foundation was a stone massif, with back filling of gravel, with a solution and facing of large blocks; extending downwards, it distributes the pressure over a bigger surface. This broad Foundation has reduced subsidence to the building.

Note: the Notre Dame Cathedral built on the site of two old basilicas. Year start — 1163 — witnessed the chronicle of the XIV century In 1185 in the choir of the temple were already held in the service. In 1223 was over the portal to the gallery, 1235 — tower. Work, however, went on and on; among the builders of the Cathedral mentions the names belonging to the XIV century and In the XVIII century Souffle rebuilt the entrance; in the XIX century the Cathedral was restored. The Cathedral is 127 m long, 37 m high (inside); tower height of 68 m. Cm. Aubert M. N. Dame de Paris, Paris 1920.

Amiens Cathedral — the largest Gothic cathedrals in France (143 m in length, 61 meters in width, the height of the arches 43 m). In 1218 a fire destroyed the former Church of Amiens; in 1220 by the architect Luzarches presented plans for a new Cathedral, and in 1288, the building was basically finished. Cm. Durand G, Notre Dame dAmiens, Am. 1901 – 1903.

To prevent the bulging out of range to side under each row of pillars was advanced Mat Foundation ( Fig. 162, Notre-Dame de Dijon). Often even the foundations of the foundations associated with underground walls of compacted crushed stone with fundamentalisten, forming under the building a kind of base mesh.

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