Cathedral Essay

Submitted By AlexL2015
Words: 664
Pages: 3

Since the Medieval era, cathedrals have remained buildings that strike people with awe when they see them. Built all across Europe from around the 12th century onwards, the cathedral became one of the most important buildings in any city. Most importantly, the Gothic period of architecture occurred around the 12th century as well. Gothic architecture was characterized by pointed arches, flying buttresses, and flying vaults. These features give Gothic cathedral an airy look that almost seems to reach the heavens. Two cathedrals that really struck me as beautiful and inspiring were the ones at Reims and Chartres. Both these cathedrals had a unique planning and construction process that led to their current look. Indeed, the cathedral at Reims is one of the most popular in the world. Receiving more than 1 million visitors annually, visitors are amazed at the uniformity and beauty of the cathedral. The most striking feature of Reims is its façade. Both towers are the same, making for a very uniform look. There is a certain beauty in proportional symmetrical architecture, and Reims does a good job of displaying that. The main gate is also an important feature of the cathedral. As visitors walk in, a pointed arch decorated with sculptures of people almost seems to welcome you in. The arch is also layered inwards so the arch leads into the cathedral. As one walks down the nave into the transept, they will see that the transept naturally connects to the choir at the front of the cathedral. This allows for the choir to create a little alcove, making the lighting in it very beautiful. The stained glass windows create a kaleidoscope of different shades of lights throughout the day and the pointed arches soar upwards towards the center of the building. These features definitely show why Reims is one of the most popular cathedrals even to this day.
Next, the cathedral at Chartres is characterized by its interesting façade, which unlike Reims, it is not symmetrical. It is very striking to see a non-uniform structure. Most architects try to even out the buildings they design. However, Chartres was built by multiple sets of designers as construction to the cathedral happened more than once throughout the 12th and 13th centuries. This allowed for the north tower to be taller and sharper and the south tower to be larger at the base. These two towers make the cathedral unique in that they too have a beauty in being unequal. Even today, the cathedral can be seen towering over…