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Western Civilization 10, Lesson 135 – Gothic Cathedrals

During the Middle Ages, people started to sense a need for change when it came to their churches.  This need for change led to the style of building that created the gothic cathedrals.  This new style of cathedrals was slightly different from the Romanesque cathedrals that were so common in those days.  In this essay, I am going to talk about gothic cathedrals and how they were different from the Romanesque cathedrals.

Romanesque cathedrals tended to have thick, heavy walls to insulate heat and to hold the roof up.  Because of this, the windows were small and narrow, making the inside of the cathedrals very dark.

Gothic cathedrals were designed to showcase God’s traits through small details.  The layout of the building was usually in the shape of a cross.  Gothic cathedrals also had large windows that allowed more light to come into the room compared to the Romanesque cathedrals.

One of the greatest things about Gothic cathedrals was its flying buttresses.  The flying buttresses would transfer the weight of the ceiling to columns that were outside of the building.  Since the weight on the walls was reduced, the windows could be larger and allow more light into the cathedral.

As you can see, Gothic cathedrals, or more specifically, its flying buttresses and its large windows was a refreshing change from the same old Romanesque cathedrals.  Of course both styles are beautiful and have a sense of grandness to them, but the Gothic style was favored because of the amount of light that was able to enter the building.

Thanks for reading!


Author: sophiaelahirpc

10th Grade student in the Ron Paul Curriculum. Full-time teen writer living in Singapore.

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