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The Importance Of Gothic Architecture: The Basilica Of Saint Denis

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Gothic architecture, though also used in secular buildings, is most associated with the great cathedrals of Europe. The Basilica of Saint Denis is a large medieval abbey church on the outskirts of Paris, France. The building is of significant importance historically and architecturally because it is considered to be the first Gothic church ever built. The building of gothic cathedrals grew as design techniques progressed. Over time, as new techniques combined with new materials, cathedral architecture increased in complexity and sophistication into a recognizable gothic style. Cathedrals had a floor plan shaped like a cross. The head of the church pointed east towards the holy city of Jerusalem. The transept, running north and south, represented the cross-bar of the cross. The foot of the cross, at the west end, provided the entrance to the church and personal salvation. The interior of a gothic cathedral gave the worshipper the impression of light and height, with slender columns framing large tall windows and reaching up to support a ribbed stone roof. The exterior was encrusted with statues, bobbly pinnacles, and the open fretwork (interlaced decorative design carved in low relief on a solid background) of flying buttresses. As the worshipper entered the portal, which was the…show more content…
A prime example of this is the reconstruction and redecoration of the Cathedral at Saint Denis under Abbott Suger. Suger, whom is credited with many of the concepts associated with Gothic architecture and design, envisioned a cathedral whose grandiose embellishments were equivalent to the praise he bestowed upon the God. These designs have truly stood the test of time. Originally conceived to handle the large amounts of traffic during pilgrimages. Many of these 11th century Gothic cathedrals still stand today and still welcome thousands of loyal pilgrims each