The Gothic architecture flourished in Mid Age Europe between the XII-th and the XVI-th century, leaving behind some of the most beautiful cathedral and abbeys.
Here are the key elements I look for when I visit a Gothic cathedral. All the pictures in this article I’ve taken at St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic, a gorgeous piece of this style.
Before I enter I look for…
Their grotesque, exaggerated aspect (you remember Art Nouveau, right?) serves their second, mystical purpose, to protect the church and scare the evil spirits.
The pinnacle is used in conjunction with the flying buttress to leverage the stress in the walls. It looks like a small turret, being also ornamental. There are many of these on top of the flying buttress as you can see above.
Results from the intersection of two or three barrel vaults. It’s one of my favourite key elements of the Gothic style, I could barely take my eyes off it.
If you are passionate about architecture and about the Gothic style in particular you might also want to see:
– United Kingdom: Westminster Abbey (London), Salisbury Cathedral (Salisbury – stop here on your way to Stonehenge), Gloucester Cathedral (Gloucester – the crazy Cheese Rolling Festival is happening in Gloucestershire county)
– France: Notre Dame du Paris (Paris), Reims Cathedral (Reims – the place where the kings of France were crowned), Rouen Cathedral (Rouen – also check Claude Monet’s series here)
– Germany: Cologne Cathedral (Cologne)
– Austria: St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Viena)
– Czech Republic: St. Vitus Cathedral (Prague – bonus: you get a wonderful view over the city without climbing any of its towers; it’s located on a hill)
– Belgium: Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula (Brussels)
– Italy: Milan Cathedral (Milan), Florence Cathedral (Florence), Saint Mark’s Basilica (Venice)
– Spain: Seville Cathedral (Seville), Barcelona Cathedral (Barcelona), Santiago de Compostela Cathedral (Santiago de Compostela)
– Romania: Black Church (Brașov)