Photographer's Note

Gothic architecture is a style, particularly associated with cathedrals and other churches, which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. Beginning in 12th century France, it was known as "the French Style" during the period, with the term "Gothic" first appearing in the Reformation era as a stylistic insult. The style originated at the abbey church of Saint-Denis in Saint-Denis, near Paris, where it exemplified the vision of Abbot Suger. Suger wanted to create a physical representation of the Heavenly Bethlehem, a building of a high degree of linearity that was suffused with light. Gothic style emphasizes verticality and features almost skeletal stone structures with great expanses of glass, pointed arches using the ogive shape, ribbed vaults, clustered columns, sharply pointed spires, flying buttresses and inventive sculptural detail such as gargoyles. In Gothic architecture new technology stands behind the new building style. The Gothic cathedral was supposed to be a microcosm representing the world, and each architectural concept, mainly the loftiness and huge dimensions of the structure, were intended to pass a theological message: the great glory of God versus the smallness and insignificance of the mortal being.

To illustrate the principles and ideas described above, instead of showing a "finished", "complete" structure, I present to you a part of the transept of the Cathedral of Saint Martin (or Dom Church) in Utrecht, Netherlands. Once this was the country's largest and only cathedral, dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, and it remains the only church in the Netherlands that closely resembles the original French Gothic style. Building took place from 1254 until well into the 16th century. The still unfinished and insufficiently supported nave collapsed during a hurricane in August 1674, and what remains of St. Martin's now are the transept and the tower. Where the rest of the cathedral used to stand is now a windy square, the Domplein.

Although I liked the original colour vesrion, I have converted to BW, to emphasize the austerity of Gothic architecture. Colour version in the WS.

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Additional Photos by Alexander Pasternak (pasternak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1341 W: 179 N: 3373] (15185)
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