October 1, 2010

Reading Comp #3

Cologne & Salisbury

Light is present in all Gothic cathedrals. The use of pointed arches extending to the heavens allows as much light as possible in on walls while the light itself can also dim through stained glass “emphasizing the mystery of faith”. Windows within cathedrals are all about an experience with the heavens, weightlessness, biblical stories. The higher the building could reach the larger the windows could be, illuminating interior features. Cologne Cathedral houses a golden reliquary that is thought to contain the Three Magi of Christmas. The placement of the shrine is above the high alter, making this area the main focus of the Gothic cathedral. The windows surrounding the high alter and The Shrine of the Magi help emphasize the fire-gilded figures and semi-precious stones on the shrine, as well as help tell the biblical stories of the Middle Ages with images and scenes in the stained glass. At any time of the day the windows allow light to flow in and highlight the most ambitious piece in the cathedral. While the Cologne Cathedral contains an actual artifact of high importance, Salisbury Cathedral’s is most known for its notable central spire. Besides the significant spire, “An old saying records that there are as many pillars as there are hours in the year, and as many windows as there are days.” Salisbury Cathedral is similar to Cologne due to the use of continual biblical references on pointed arched windows and stained glass, letting in light aluminizing the interior beauty.

Cologne & Amiens

Cologne and Amiens share the same basic features of Gothic cathedrals like exterior statures, interior crossing square and cathedral choirs, as well as the same trial and error development. Cologne Cathedral was built on top of the site of a fourth century Roman temple, followed by a simple square church, the “Old Cathedral”, which burned down, allowing the development of the present Gothic church to begin. Amiens was built ca. 340 but later a fire destroyed most of the city, construction on a Romanesque cathedral began but it was destroyed by fire as well initiating the planning for a cathedral that would house the head of St. John the Baptist. With both Cologne and Amiens upright, a constant battle of keeping the structures intact left designers and engineers of both regions experimenting with flying buttresses. The strong efforts of the community to keep these cathedrals intact during times of world wars, contradict the chaos outside their place of worship.

Cologne & Duomo

Cologne Cathedral follows a cruciform plan with the traditional crossing allowing massive amounts of light in at the intersection, while Duomo Cathedral branches off by focusing the control of light at the free-standing dome in the center. The cruciform plan, flying buttresses for support, pointed arches, and square crossing define Gothic cathedrals like Cologne. Duomo Cathedral has an octagonal crossing, wooden structuring to support construction and a central dome that implies the ending of Gothic and beginning of the Renaissance.

1 comment:

  1. this was a great opportunity for you to demonstrate drawing skill relative to your sketch....more work needed there. though a handy comparison among the cathedrals you considered, you really should delve deeper in analysis beyond descriptive passages.