The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres – Unit 3 Essay

Document Type
4 pages
Word Count
1254 words
Course Code
lstd 3113
SierraLynn Anderson
LSTD 3113-403
Unit 3 Essay
The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres: The Embodiment of Gothic Architecture
Gothic Architecture is a medieval-style architecture that prospered in the late middle ages
and evolved from Norman architecture. It originated in 11th and 12th century France and quickly
spread throughout medieval Europe. Gothic Architecture, also known as Christian Ecclesiastical
Architecture, has influenced the designs of churches, castles, and universities all over the world.
The birth of the Gothic style and the emergence of ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, and pointed
arches are accredited to Abbot Suger (1085-1151) when he redesigned the Abbey Church of St.
Denis in Paris, France. These structural characteristics became somewhat of a foundation for the
Gothic cathedrals that followed the St. Denis. Introducing the ribbed vaults and pointed arches
(features that were only experimental before Suger) brought added height to the edifice and
relieved the structural burdens of the walls themselves (Fiero 308). The skeletal construction, in
contrast to heavier Mediterranean styles, allowed for the incorporation of immense windows into
the design, which were better suited for the light-deprived European climate. With the interior
real estate now consumed by windows, stained glass sensibly replaced the murals and frescoes of
the Classical Style. Thus, the bright and colorful Gothic Style was born.
One of the most beautiful implementations of the Gothic Style is the famous Chartres
Cathedral, also known as the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. The Chartres Cathedral,

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