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Diagram of a Medieval Cathedral: Gothic Engineering
Illustration of main sections of a Gothic cathedral

Main sections of a Gothic cathedral

Illustration: ArtToday.com

Medieval man considered himself an imperfect reflection of the divine light of God, and Gothic architecture was the ideal expression of this view.

New techniques of construction, such as pointed arches and flying buttresses, permitted buildings to soar to amazing new heights, dwarfing anyone who stepped inside. Moreover, the concept of divine light was suggested by the airy quality of Gothic interiors illuminated by walls of stained glass windows. The complicated simplicity of ribbed vaulting added another Gothic detail to the engineering and artistic mix. The overall effect is that Gothic structures are much lighter in structure and spirit than sacred places built in the earlier Romanesque style.

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