The Gothic architecture

3d model and reconstruction

The Gothic architecture

This reconstruction shows a virtual building site for a Gothic church including the typical elements of this style.

Apart from the images in the viewer, on request, it is possible to have other videos or other images from different perspectives.

Available multimedia materials:

  • videos
  • images
  • text

Are you interested in Media content on the Gothic architecture?


Short history of

The Gothic architecture

The Gothic architecture act of birth is the realization of the gothic church of Saint Denis in Paris, built by Abbot Suger in 1129. From Île de France, where it finds its heyday (the cathedrals of Amiens, Chartres, Laon, Noyon, Reims and Notre -Dame in Paris), the new style spread throughout Europe, finding high levels of expression in Germany and England and giving rise to a real architectural revolution.

Thanks to the economic prosperity of the city, the cathedral becomes the first major urban construction site. The geometry regulates every aspect of composition with the adoption of the golden number or golden section, setting the aspect ratio by basic shapes such as square, semi-square, the circle and the semicircle. The beautiful notebook of Villard de Honnecourt left us a number of interesting designs and proportional calculations, testimony of science and technology at the beginning of the thirteenth century. Gothic cathedrals , as well as artistic value , also had a great theological and spiritual value. These constructions, which tend vertiginously upwards, inspire awe and want to affirm the deity of infinite transcendence and the power of faith over reason. The plants are impressive, resulting in colossal buildings. Typically the Gothic cathedrals are three aisles, with no very substantial differences in the plant than Romanesque; the organization of the interior space is however revised, giving greater importance to certain parts of the church, such as the presbytery, almost always enriched with an ambulatory, chapels and polygonal apse. The walls are emptied with the use of the pillars that rise up to the vault, making the structure similar to a huge skeleton. The invention of pointed arc also allows greater development in height, accentuating the sense of verticality, symbol of aspiration for the Divine. The light becomes the protagonist of architecture for the first time: the facade has at a rose window at the center, while the emptying of the exterior walls allows the use of enormous coloured glass windows. The exaltation of the construction details and the introduction of new elements such as buttresses and flying buttresses, carvings, ornamental gables, pinnacles, enriches the construction of an extraordinary plastic decorations.