Ever heard of the term Gothic architecture? This architectural style first appeared in Saint-Denis, near Paris, France in 1140. This architectural style has a close relationship with the design of cathedrals in Europe. The reason is none other than because within a century Gothic architecture has managed to revolutionize the design of cathedrals throughout Western Europe. At that time, the Catholic church played an important role in social life. Not surprisingly, church architecture has become important for society.
Gothic architecture is considered to be the greatest building and work of art ever created. The front or facade of the church is made grand and large with the aim of giving the impression of the great power of God and those who worship him. Tall and towering buildings to the sky are made to describe high aspirations and human hopes to reach heaven.
This style actually appeared also due to boredom in architecture in the Middle Ages. At that time, the buildings that were created were very limited and only functional. Therefore, the magnificent designs of churches and cathedrals succeeded in inspiring humans in terms of obedience and piety to God, because the designs in the Gothic era were phenomenal. Let's look at some of the main characteristics of this magnificent Gothic architecture.
1. Sharp Edge on the Exterior
Tall, majestic buildings and towers with sharp edges in churches are synonymous with Gothic architecture? If you visit Europe and see the design of a church or building with this characteristic, then you can be sure that the building was built in the Gothic era. In addition, the decoration on the facade of the building is made in great detail. This characteristic is very different from the Romanesque architectural style in the past which was made flat and not too high.
2. Flying Buttress
The flying buttress is the most important feature of Gothic decor. Gothic architects modified the earlier vaulted ceiling system and replaced it with flying buttresses . The flying buttress structure is a solution to support buildings that have tall structures. Not only does it function as a support for the building structure, but the construction also looks very decorative with its design capable of giving a grandeur effect.
3. Pointed Arch
The pointed arch serves to withstand the weight of the building's very heavy and thick ceiling designs. In addition, this arch is also a separate decoration for the interior of a magnificent and tall building. This arch also allows the size of the supporting pillars at the bottom to be slimmer.
4. Bright Lighting from the Large Window
Another feature of this architecture is the large stained glass windows that flood the interior with light. This is very different from the pre-Gothic style of architecture which used little lighting so it looked dark and shabby. Gothic architecture emphasizes lighting, large windows, and spacious interiors. This also succeeded in changing churches and palaces to become more magnificent and pleasant to live in.
5. Use of Rose Window
Architecturally, rose windows are used for lighting and give an aesthetic impression to the building. But from a religious point of view, the rose window is used as a symbol of God's word which is described as a light that enters and illuminates the hearts of church members. Rose windows are usually complemented by the addition of mosaics and clear stained glass art.
6. There is a Gargoyle Statue
Gargoyles are small monsters that are placed along the roofs or fortifications of buildings and palaces. The purpose of Gargoyles is as a drainage system for rainwater that falls from the roofs of buildings and then comes out of their mouths. Not only that, Gargoyles also actually functioned to frighten evil farmers at that time because of their scary shape, like demons or monsters and were placed face down.
At that time, many people were filled with fear and superstition. Gargoyles have become a symbol of terrible creatures that make people seek protection and help from demons and ghosts in churches. Gargoyles are one of the characteristics of Gothic architecture that still impresses people today.
The splendor of Gothic architecture is a symbol of community life at that time. However, today this style has become a valuable heritage in the world of architecture.