Gothic Architecture flashcards |

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The stoork divisions in Gothic windows.

Sexpartite rib vaults

A vault over two bays divided by diagonal ribs and a transverse rib into 6 parts.

Notre-Dame Cathรฉdral, Paris France, 1163-ca. 1250

It replaced an old basilica. 110ft tall from the floor to the top of the vaults. Clerestories were enlarged for more light and flying buttresses were added to stabilize the structure. The transepts had large rose windows. Had a double ambulatory and was the 1st Gothic building to exceed the height of Cluny III. Triple portals are surmounted by the horizontal Gallery of Kings, representing 28 kings of the Old Testament.



Decorative bud-like protrusions on the angles of Gothic stoork, especially on spires and towers.


Symbol of the king of France. Used on royal buildings.

Rose window

Circular window.

Church of Saint-Denis, France, 1137-1140

Abbot Suger was the abbot of St. Denis. It was the French royal monastery. Original building was a Carolingian Basilica. Reconstruction was commissioned by Suger. A west front and narthex was constructed to enlarge the building. The work had a twin-towered west faรงade of Norman churches and sculptured portals from Southern France. Has a rose window - a circular window. The interior has rib vaults in the narthex from grouped piers. Later a choir was added with 7 radiating chapels with stain glass windows. Later after Suger's death a nave was added.



Underneath the apse, and holds relics, and other precious items.


Made stained glass windows by cutting the glass and used lead stripping to create a frame.

Laon Cathedral, Laon, France, begun 1190

Has the idea of 3 Romanesque portals. Each one has a gable and a design on each one. Has lancet windows. Rose window and portals are deep into the faรงade. Arcaded gallery and two bell towers with as many openings/windows as possible to be cut out of it to allow the noise of the bells to be let out. Westwerk is massive and heavy. When it was finished the head of the city council complained that the entrance faรงade was hideous. Has a 4 story elevation. Between each transverse arch there is a sexpartite system. Has pointed arches throughout the structure.


Vertical element that divides the two lights of a window.

Flying buttress

The beam carries the extra horizontal load into the buttress pier and into the ground.



Tip of a knight's spear.

Lancet Windows

Window with a pointed arch that makes it look like a lancet.

Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France, 1194-1230

Site dedicated to Virgin Mary. Originally a pilgrimage site, and was a Romanesque basilica with 3 radiating chapels. Fire damaged the church after it was enlarged. It was enlarged even more.


The narrow passage below the clerestory corresponding to the lean-to roof over the aisle in Gothic churches.

Quadripartite vault

A vault over one bay divided by diagonal ribs into 4 parts.


Lodge Book

A journal of a master builder apprentice where he would record all of the interesting ideas of design on his travels.

Villard de Honnecourt, Page from his lodge book Paris, France, 1120-35

Lodge books that survived the middle ages. All objects are overlaid with geometric shapes to show how it has geometry. Shapes are used as a scale. The shape on the drawing was then drawn on a plaster floor in a 1 to 1 scale.

Cathedral of St. Etienne at Bourges (1195-1250)

Has double aisles that flank the nave and has sexpartite vaults in the nave and choir.



Scaffolding in the middle ages.

Amiens Cathedral Amiens, France c. 1270-88

High Gothic cathedral. Amiens was an important textile manufacturing center and trade center. Town was wealthy. 1218, the church was burned to the ground. The money enabled it to be built quickly. The architecture sculptors were so well known for the faรงade of Amiens they were asked by other cities to sculpt for their cathedrals. The wall buttresses have blind tracery to ornament the wall. Called blind because it has no window. Each wall buttress has a pinnacle on top of it. Has a 2 story gallery of arcades. The lower level has little windows. The upper level has a statue of a saint between each arch. Above the gallery between the two towers, it has a rose window. The interior has slim and tall piers. Has a tall nave arcade. Everything is slimmed town to its minimal quality.


Diaphragm wall

A wall that has a pointed arch and is between two piers.


A triangular shaped stone placed at the top of a buttress in order to give it greater weight and to provide decorative points that point toward the sky.

Reims Cathedral Reims, France c. 1225-90

Has tall, skinny lancet windows. Above the entry portal, is a rose window with two pairs of lancet windows on each side of the rose window. Has a one story galley above the windows. Has a stain glass rose windows in the entry portals instead of the stone tempidiums. Has a wall of glass. Interior is slim and tall.

Sainte-Chapelle Paris, France 1243-48

Late Gothic. It was a small chapel built by the king of France. Was a palatine chapel. King Louis the 9th commissioned the chapel. He was on his way back from Jerusalem during the crusade. Must have a second level patio where he could give speeches. On his way back he collected several relics of the Passion (crucifixion of Christ) a nail, crown of thorns, and a piece of the cross. Was to be a reliquary for the relics. Most reliquaries are designed to look like buildings. Has no crossing, just a nave. The tower is just for decoration. Has large stain glass windows on the side. Upper level is the private chapel of the king. Has buttresses with no flyers. One quarter stone, three quarters glass. The ribs are gilded and the vaulting shells were midnight blue - royal colors.


Roundish shape on a stain glass window used to tell stories.

Rayonnant style

Late Gothic style of France.


A 3 lobed or foiled pattern in Gothic architecture.


A 4 lobed or foiled pattern in Gothic architecture.


In Gothic vaulting, a secondary rib extending from the support to the crown of the vault.



A decorative, nonstructural supplementary rib added to Gothic vaulting.

Salisbury Cathedral, 1220-58

English Gothic cathedral built almost entirely in Early English. Built at a site. Has a long orthogonal plan. On the interior, quadripartite vaults rise from 3-story nave elevations. Has a horizontal emphasis versus the vertical line of the French. The ribs of the vaults spring from wall corbels at the base of the clerestory. Exterior also has horizontal emphasis. Was an abbey and cathedral.

Fan vaults

Vaults with ribs having the same curvature and radiating or fanning out from the springing of the vault.

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