If ever architecture expressed spiritual ideals, it would be in the lofty Gothic structures of medieval Europe and Great Britain. From the remarkable Saint-Denis in France to the Altneuschul (Old-New) Synagogue in Prague, Gothic was a style that humbled man and glorified God. Yet, with its innovative engineering, the style was a testament to human ingenuity.
The earliest complete Gothic structure is the ambulatory of the abbey of Saint-Denis in France. Built between 1140 and 1144, the church became a model for most of the late 12th-century French cathedrals, including those at Chartres
and Senlis. However, features of the Gothic style are found in earlier buildings in Normandy and elsewhere.