The Gothic style is one of the world’s most important architectural movements. Its impact is evident in some of Europe’s unique buildings.
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Gothic architecture, or opus francigenum, was initially seen negatively, something for built for barbarians. But in the 19th century, a revaluation of Gothic architecture occurred. Scholars agree that Gothic art is not related to Goths, but still is a standard in art history. This style derives from the Romanesque style and was heavily utilized all over Europe, in the Middle Ages.
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Important features to the Gothic style include rib vaults and flying buttress outside the building, to support the roof. These features gave the structure height and offered space for windows. It also featured stained-glass, and rose windows, to bring light and color into the space. Realistic statuary on the exterior was made to illustrate biblical stories. Romanesque architecture may have influenced this new style characterized by increased light and height.
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The first important gothic church is the Basilica of Saint-Denis.
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The Early Gothic style was born in 1120. A coherent style of architecture spread first in the Ile-de-France whose rich citizens wanted to build cathedrals that now epitomize Gothic architecture. Cathedrals similar to Saint-Denis soon appeared: Notre-Dame de Paris and Laon Cathedral. Buildings built in this era resemble the features first tested in Saint-Denis as in the Cathedral of Sens.
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Notre Dame is an important marker for the transition to the Gothic classic in the thirteenth century. This phase saw the application of elaborate geometrical decoration to the forms that had been used before. After 1250, gothic architects became interested in visual effects through decoration. This decoration took many forms as pinnacles, moldings, window tracery, and, most importantly, the great circular rose.
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A new style of Gothic design emerged in 1280. It was named Flamboyant Gothic architecture that featured flame-like shaped curves in stone windows. Historical examples of this are the Palace of the Parliament of Rouen, the Sainte-Chapelle of the Château de Vincennes, and the Church Saint- Maclou of Rouen.
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