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Gothic architecture

Gothic art was born about 1440, in the Ile-de-France.

Initially, it is observed only in the construction of the most important cathedrals and Abbey churches of this area. But pretty soon the Gothic style spread throughout France and then throughout Europe. Not limited to sacred architecture, the master of Gothic actively distributed new style to the area of secular construction. Gothic is the first in the history of architectural style, which are still preserved works in all genres. Among these outstanding buildings occupy a special place are extremely diverse in stylistic terms, the cathedrals, the Abbey and the town’s Church. They are richly adorned with sculpture, stained glass and wall paintings and decoration occupy a prominent place in the works of jewelry art and sumptuously illustrated books. Along with the Gothic churches of modern audiences still continue to fascinate a variety of city buildings, castles and palaces, decorated no less elaborately than the masterpieces of religious architecture.

“The architecture of Western churches initially differed greatly from the architecture of the churches of the Eastern Christians. In the East in the Byzantine Empire developed a type of cross-domed churches (in terms of – equal-armed Greek cross, the dome on the crossing). In the West, in the territory of the Roman Empire the first Christian communities came out of the catacombs,prayers for common first adapted the Roman public buildings. Pagan temples they were not good, because there dwelt the pagan gods, i.e. demons. They messed together with the sculpture, and columns, profiled architectural details, hewn stone was used to build new churches, often on pagan place. Roman public building, having the shape of a Basilica, was very convenient for Church services. The Basilica (a three-span rectangular building, divided internally by longitudinal rows of columns or pillars) have become the main type of Church buildings in Western Europe for many centuries.

The first Christians of the West the temples were built-the Basilica of stone, and the floors were wooden. The Windows were arched, and the great apse came for the altars. Gradually, in Catholic churches, you receive a transverse nave or transept, the temple takes the form of a Latin cross, i.e. a cross with a long vertical branch. From the apse to the transept space was given to the clergy, from the transept to the entrance – to the faithful laity.

In Western Europe, after the capture of the Roman Empire by the Germans, a state of relative cultural stagnation lasted for about five centuries, and when in X-XI centuries there has been a new, albeit slow, rise of urban life and culture, has begun to develop new forms of temple life, and consequently, new forms of temple architecture. Occurs the Romanesque style. It is characterized by strictness, severe simplicity and solidity.

The Romanesque style originated and extinguished in different European countries at different times. Very roughly can be attributed to the beginning of the X century and the end of XII-XIII centuries.

So, from ancient times to the Romanesque period architecture has evolved gradually, in an evolutionary way. Building steadily, firmly standing on the ground, were strong, massive, sometimes very massive, that is quite material.

And all of a sudden. Gothic! It was a blast, a revolution in the construction of temples. The buildings seem to lose materiality, appear to be weightless, fragile. From light, very high towers to the foundations they are entirely covered with delicate stone lace. Dimensions huge, dazzling. The temples as if in ecstatic strongest gust fiercely, boldly rush to the heavens, like the biblical tower of Babel. Instead of walls of Gothic cathedrals appear glass Windows with stained glass width from pylon to pylon and height to the ceiling. Patterned sash stained glass is a delicate and light appearance of lace, the varied pattern with a predominance of arches and floral designs (however, cut out of very durable stone with a complex profile). The stained glass Windows of colored expensive glasses are connected in a very lush floral and geometric ornaments; they are narrative compositions, paintings on biblical themes and images of many saints. Round window – “rose” (a required element of the main facade, over the portal) is also filled with picturesque stained glass Windows. In the Cathedral of Chartres in France, for example, rose has a diameter of 13.5 meters. Cathedrals inhabited by thousands of statues: of saints, angels, kings and terrible monsters-the chimeras. The sun’s rays are painted in colored glasses and fill the interior of the flying rainbow spots, and high arches are drowning in the dark. On on the top to overwhelm the powerful sounds of the organ. The synthesis of arts has even an unbeliever huge impact. Looking at the stained glass Windows of the famous Chartres Cathedral is quite possible to fall into ecstasy.

Gothic architecture is formed under the strong influence of mysticism, which reaches its apogee in the XII-XIII centuries And it is not clear whether the Romans turn to external, sensual, to the exaltation gave rise to the Gothic, whether because of the influence of the Gothic in the future, the Catholic religion was different exaltation? Ecstatic state, a special vision, a special mysticism of Catholic saints (Teresa of Avila, blessed Angela, Margaret-Mary Alcock and other) plunged in confusion, even some Catholic theologians, but from the point of view of Orthodox patristic experience, they simply blasphemous.

Themselves design giant Gothic cathedrals XII, XIII, XIV centuries amaze with perfection, they are brilliant, bold and daring. Engineers of the middle ages did not know the theory, is not able to do calculations of the construction methods of statistics structures, as their distant descendants in the twentieth century. But Lacy temples are century. They could only be destroyed by a human hand, for example, the bombing in the First and Second world wars. But hundreds more are in France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Italy. In Poland, for example, still preserved about 800 neo-Gothic churches.

The Gothic Church was built a very long time. Almost all the famous cathedrals bear layering three or four, and sometimes six or seven centuries. Why? In order to answer this question, let us try to plunge into the Western European atmosphere of those times.

Recall that in Catholic Europe the war almost never stopped, he fought the Kingdom, fought with small and large secular and Church feudal lords among themselves. Sieges of cities, massacres of civilians, troops trampled and scorched fields, excessive taxes and fees, frequent epidemics, crop failures, famine, natural disasters have brought the common people untold suffering. Poor people had to rely only on the Lord.

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