Medieval Information

Everything About the Dark Ages

Church Building

The principal reason why churches were built is because a town's inhabitants felt pride when they had a mighty church to praise God within. The first problem arose when money was needed to actually build it. However, raising money was easy for the townspeople were happy to donate and that combined with the very generous donations from the rich nobles and the king, made the economical problem perish.

A style had to be chosen. After the XII century, most French churches followed the Gothic Style, though many other styles existed.

Architects had to be especially careful when making a church for it had to be very illuminated and decorated. Some churches were fully painted and adorned with religious objects which the church paid for. Additionally, many religious statues were also set within the church for it to look more divine.

Most churches took more than ten years to complete though a church was never really finished for the vast majority of churches were continuously improved and new rooms were added as well.

The cathedrals built during or shortly after the reign of William the Conqueror were the largest buildings seen in Great Britain up to that time. The pillars, for example, were widely improved after his reign as they were meant to support the church's wall.

The reason why a town paid so much attention in building an enormous and well-adorned church was because the better the church looked, the 'happier' God would be, as they so believed. For this reason, a town could be literally starving and close to become a ghost-town, but there had to be a church and the bigger the better.

Medieval Gothic Style

Gothic Style

In the early XII century France, a new architectonical style emerged. At first, it was simply called "The French Style", but the name was later adjusted to "Gothic" because of its simplicity which resembled the older barbarian tribes including the Goths.

The gothic style has many characteristics, but by far the most important ones are its illumination and simplicity. During the crusades, many French architects were influenced by the buildings in the Arab world which can be noted in the pointed archs, vaults and buttresses. Another major characteristic of the gothic style is the sculptures which were now free standing and not incorporated within a column.

The windows were enormous and not as decorated in the early gothic style; however, after many years architects began decorating the support for the stained windows which along the pointed arch, are the main points of reference denoting the gothic style.

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