Gloomy and graceful: a journey through the Gothic cathedrals of Europe
The Romantic style was replaced by the gloomy Gothic style. It appeared in France in the mid-12th century and developed until the 16th century. Thus, today we have the opportunity to admire the unusual architectural monuments of that time, including churches. So let's go on an unusual journey that will definitely be remembered for a lifetime.
Milan Cathedral (Milan, Italy)
A shrine has been built on the main square of the city, which impresses with its appearance from the first seconds. It is impossible to imagine how hard it was for the people who worked on this project. Its design is very complicated even for our days, and for that time, it was almost unrealistic to fulfill. In addition, it is worth considering how the marble was delivered to these parts. Each stone was quarried in the Candoglia, then shipped by river or through canals that had been specially dug beforehand. It was extremely difficult, but the Italians managed to do so.
Construction of the shrine began in 1356 and was finally completed in 1956. But many people disagree with the latter date because the restoration work does not end for a moment. The building can be attributed to the late Gothic style, which is more typical of France than Italy.
The architectural monument is holding up well and does not show its age. By the way, it is considered to be one of the largest Gothic buildings in the world, second only to the Sagrada Familia.
St. Stephen's Cathedral (Vienna, Austria)
In the very heart of Vienna, there is a shrine that has survived many wars and bravely withstood. That is why this temple personifies the symbol of freedom of the city and all Austrians. The church was built by order of Duke Rudolf IV. The official date of its birth is the XIV century.
The main highlight of the church is the tiled roof. It depicts two coats of arms: national and local. The mosaic did not appear here immediately but was added in 1952.
There are many relics in St. Stephen's Cathedral: ancient icons, paintings, frescoes, church utensils, etc. You will be amazed by what you see.
Seville Cathedral (Seville, Spain)
This Gothic marvel was built on the site of the majestic Almohad Mosque, which was completely destroyed by Christians during the capture of the city. The shrine was designed with only one goal in mind: to demonstrate the power and wealth of the people of Seville. During the construction, the designers of the time used the former columns and other elements of the building. Among them is the famous Giralda Tower, painted with unusual patterns and ornaments, which was turned into a bell tower.
It is worth climbing up here to see all the unearthly beauty of this place. From a 104-meter height, you can see every corner of Seville. Be sure to visit the chapels. They are not similar to each other. Each of them is dedicated to a saint or prominent figure who was related to the shrine.
By the way, there are two special tombs here. They contain the graves of honorable personalities: King Ferdinand III of Castile and Christopher Columbus.
York Cathedral (York, England)
This is the largest Gothic building in Northern Europe. It even managed to beat the Cologne shrine. Therefore, it definitely deserves your attention. It has huge and unrealistically beautiful stained glass windows.
York Cathedral is quite old. The designers laid the first stone in 1230, and construction was completed in 1472.
During its existence, it has experienced many troubles and destruction. It even burned twice due to arson attacks by religious fanatics. But it managed to escape.
The main highlight of the church is a huge window. Its size is so large that it is considered the widest medieval stained glass window in the world.
Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral (Paris, France)
The shrine is known as Notre Dame de Paris. This is not just a Gothic church but a real symbol of the French capital, which, by the way, could have disappeared without ever becoming known. Its savior is considered to be Victor Hugo, who published a novel of the same name at the right time. After the book was published, the almost-destroyed building received attention.
The walls of the cathedral have seen many events. The most prominent of them was the coronation of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The building survived more than one war and revolution. It was not without losses. At that time, many relics and treasures were destroyed. In 2019, a large-scale fire broke out here, burning down the unique wooden roof frame and collapsing the 96-meter spire. Fortunately, the foundation and icons survived.
The reconstruction of the shrine is still underway. But according to forecasts, it should be opened soon. Most likely, this will happen in 2024 when France will host the Olympic Games.
All of these Gothic cathedrals are worth your attention. Be sure to visit them when you walk the streets of the cities where these proud and impregnable buildings are located.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA told you what to see in the countries bordering Ukraine.