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The Seven Key Characteristics of Gothic Architecture

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Amber Schoeppey

on 28 January 2016

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Transcript of The Seven Key Characteristics of Gothic Architecture

The Seven Key Characteristics of Gothic Architecture
Grand, Tall Designs, Which Swept Upwards With Height and Grandeur
One of the fundamental characteristics of gothic architecture was its height. New building techniques enabled architects to spread the weight of taller walls and loftier towers.
The Flying Buttress
The flying buttress is the defining external characteristic of gothic architecture. These buttresses effectively spread the weight of the new designs, taking the weight off the walls and transferring force directly to the ground.
The Pointed Arch
The Vaulted Ceiling
The Light and Airy Interior
Gothic architecture strove to be the exact anthesis to this older Medieval style of building.It emphasised light, bright windows and airy interiors, transforming castles and churches into more pleasant and majestic environments.


The innovation of the pointed arch which was the defining internal characteristic of gothic architecture. Its significance was both practical and decorative.The pointed arch effectively distributed the force of heavier ceilings and bulkier designs, and could support much more weight than previous, simple pillars.The stronger arches allowed for much more vertical height, too - they literally reached up to the heavens.
Irregular, vaulted ceilings utilised the technology of the pointed arch to spread force and weight from upper floors. The arch also provided the impression of height and magnificence, giving the vaulted ceiling a feeling of grandeur and elegance.
The Gargoyles of Gothic Architecture
One of the most notable characteristics of gothic architecture is the gargoyle. Gargoyles are decorative, monstrous little creatures, perched at along the roofs and battlements of gothic buildings and castles.
The Emphasis Upon the Decorative Style and the Ornate
Gothic architecture marked the first time that beauty and aesthetic values had been incorporated into building design. This revolutionised the way that Medieval architects began to think of buildings. Architecture was no longer just functional - it began to have merit and meaning in its own right.
http://www.exploring-castles.com/characteristics_of_gothic_architecture_2.html
http://www.exploring-castles.com/characteristics_of_gothic_architecture_2.html
http://www.exploring-castles.com/characteristics_of_gothic_architecture_2.html
http://www.exploring-castles.com/characteristics_of_gothic_architecture_2.html
http://www.exploring-castles.com/characteristics_of_gothic_architecture_2.html
http://www.exploring-castles.com/characteristics_of_gothic_architecture_2.html
http://www.exploring-castles.com/characteristics_of_gothic_architecture_2.html
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