Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gorgeous Cathedrals from the World

Architecture: Cathedrals from the World

The Romans were known for their incredible intelligence in urban planning, building and commerce. While much of their intelligence was heavily influenced by Greece, Egypt, and the Middle East they did come up with many things on their own. One of their most famous ideas: the Roman aqueduct.

The architectural world would be at a serious loss without the Romans and their aqueducts and you could say the same thing if the the Catholics had never made their contribution of the cathedrals.

Cathedral building hit its height in the Middle Ages. The style of most cathedrals is called Gothic architecture - known during the times as 'the French style'.

Common characteristics of Gothic architecture are flying buttresses (the outside arches that helped support the massive weight of the roof, glass windows, and arched walls), pointed arch and ribbed vaults. Gothic architecture evolved from the Romanesque style architecture and continued from the 12th century to about the 16th century as a common form for buildings in Europe.

A few interesting facts about cathedrals: Always notice the stained glass - this was a serious luxury back in the time when these massive 'houses of the Lord' were being built. Having stained glass back then would be like having the very first air conditioning in the desert - only the elite had it. And those scary goblins were not meant to scare church goers. They were actually added with the very serious thought that they would scare bad spirits from the church, later as decorations and of course they helped drain the water.

I won't babble off into art history, but I encourage you to read more about Cathedral architecture because they really are the last grand standing buildings that may take their place in history as the Roman, Greek and Egyptian ruins have.

And my favorite, favorite art/mosaic anywhere in the world: Westminster Cathedral

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