Characteristics of Gothic Cathedrals in France and their Structural Elements

Characteristics of Gothic Cathedrals in France and their Structural Elements

By Terezie Vondráčkováa, Vladimír Nývlta and František Němecb

Procedia Engineering, Volume 161 (2016)

Chartres Cathedral –
Photo by Mzximvs VdB / Flickr

Abstract: Cathedrals represent some of the finest examples of interconnections architectural, aesthetic, functional, but also the structural design of the building. Their main motivation for the actual construction has been from its beginnings celebration of God, interconnections him with and gathering of believers. The emphasis placed on the aesthetics of the whole building was so crucial. But not always architectural elements were in accordance with the statics of the building. Gothic architecture, based on the earlier Romanesque buildings, points to the development of structural elements. They allow for further development, particularly in terms of building height but also the width of the wall. The aesthetic aspect which has been emphasized, however, was unaffected.

Conversely, there has been the emergence of new non-standard architectural solved part of the cathedrals. The dominant design features were the use of external supporting systems, cross vaults and arches as well, which allowed for Gothic buildings to reach huge heights. Due to the fact that the beginnings of Gothic architecture are associated with France, the publication includes analysis of Gothic cathedrals with significant influence of this component, but also historical significance to the future development of this style. It is the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, cathedral in Reims and cathedral in Chartres.

Introduction: Cathedral represent historical benefits in terms of structural elements. They were built in the Gothic style from the 12th century, an expanding gradually from France to other parts of Europe. Gothic style follows Romanesque style from which it took a number of elements, it expanded and developed to perfection in his time. Construction of the cathedral was influenced by the skill of the builders and wealth Country political situation because many damages cathedral suffered during the war or during the French Revolution. Many elements were completed until much later, around the 19th century, such as the famous gargoyles.

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