During the high and late medieval period, a building style characterized by the use of pointed arch, flying buttress and ribbed vault became popular in the construction of abbeys, cathedrals and churches in Europe. Gothic architecture originated in 12th-century France and lasted until the 16th century and remains to be the building style adopted in the design of several universities, guild halls, palaces and castles up to this day. While this type of architecture grew out of an earlier architectural genre known as Romanesque Architecture, some of its notable features reveal a tinge of Islamic influence. During the Gothic period, the designs of ecclesiastical buildings were known to exude a sense of faith or civic pride. A great number of such churches have survived the era and are still used today, particularly in Italy, France and Spain. Here is a list of 25 overwhelming examples of Gothic architecture.
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Heiligenkreuz Abbey. Heiligenkreuz, Lower Austria. 1133
Embodied in its Romanesque and Gothic components, the Heiligenkreuz Abbey is a classic example of the continuity of the European monastic tradition. The typical features of this monastery complex—including its cloister and living quarters, interiors and furniture– reflect the Gothic architectural history of Austria during the medieval times.
Maria Am Gestade. Vienna, Austria. 1394
Maria Am Gestade was originally a wooden structure constructed by the boatsmen of Austria. In 1394, this wooden building was restructured into a perfectly shaped Gothic beauty, remarkable for its steep ground, narrowness, and pretty stained glass at the back of its Gothic altar. This building was used by Napoleon as a storehouse for its weapons and stall for its horses in 1850.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Vienna, Austria. 1137
Considered as the most eminent Gothic edifice in the whole of Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is where most of Vienna’s art treasures lie. Its Gothic style is apparent in its pulpit, red marble sepulcher, and its Gothic-winged altar that was completed in 1447.
Church of St. Michael. Synkavichy, Belarus. 16th century
Built during the 16th century, the Church of St. Michael in Synavichy, Belarus is one of the first fortified churches in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. This three-nave, four-pillar structure was built during the time of Queen Bona and largely features characteristics of Gothic architecture.
Belfry of Ghent. Ghent, Belgium. 1313
Known as the tallest belfry in existence today, the Belfry of Ghent is one of the three medieval towers overlooking the old city of Ghent, Belgium. It was designed by master mason Jan van Haelst and was completed in 1380, almost seven decades since its construction. This edifice is remarkable for the primary bell in its tower.