For almost 700 years, the Gothic style has impacted architecture. Its signature pointed arches continue to influence current architecture. Stained glass windows, high arched ceilings, and gargoyles are all popular nowadays. Certain things are timeless. The Gothic style is one of them.
Gothic architecture was invented in Europe. It was adopted by Muslim rulers in the Middle East and South Asia, who built many beautiful mosques and mausoleums with Gothic elements. In Europe, churches began to be built again after the Dark Ages, and architects started to use Gothic designs once more. The first known use of Gothic in America was on Saint Louis Cathedral in Missouri, built between 1866 and 1872.
What is unique about Gothic architecture? Its pointed arches, ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, and tracery windows make it different from other styles. Pointed arches have a symbolic meaning in Christianity. They recall the story of Jesus' betrayal by a mob led by a priest with knives where nails were used instead. Romans used round arches because they were easy to build with solid brick or stone. But Europeans came up with this design because it was thought to be more elegant and spiritual.
Another characteristic of Gothic architecture is its use of shadow. Shadows play an important role in this type of building; they add depth and dimension.
Gothic architecture is as diverse as it is formidable, ranging from medieval castles to Victorian houses. This dramatic design is distinguished by vaulted ceilings, arched windows, and extravagant embellishments like flying buttresses and the odd leering gargoyle. The term "gothic" comes from the German word for ghost or spirit, which is appropriate because these eerie buildings were originally constructed as church abbeys or monasteries for holy men. When they became available for private purchase, the wealthy elite who could afford them wanted something different than a traditional house. They liked the idea of monastic solitude but needed more space for entertaining guests.
Gothic-style homes were first built in Europe during the 11th century. Because this era was right before the start of the Industrial Revolution, many new buildings included advanced technology such as gas pipes and electric lights. However, most still used fireplaces and chandeliers as their main form of heating and lighting. By the late 19th century, when the Gothic style became popular again, modern technologies had come a long way. Houses built around 1875-1895 often have electricity and indoor toilets now!
These days, Gothic-style homes can cost up to $1 million or more. In fact, some real estate agents claim that this category of house is its own market segment complete with its own standards and trends.
Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) was a popular architectural style in Europe from the late 12th century through the 16th century, spanning the High and Late Middle Ages, with some examples surviving into the 17th and 18th centuries. Buildings in this style are often named for their appearance, such as Gothic hotels or Gothic churches.
In English usage, the term Gothic refers to any of several related but distinct styles or periods in European architecture: French Gothic, German Gothic, and English Gothic. The Gothic period is usually taken to end around 1550, when Italian Renaissance styles began to influence European architecture.
The word Gothic comes from an ancient German language word meaning "godly" or "sacred", referring to the religion of the time which was predominantly Christian.
Why do we call these buildings Gothic? These tall, spire-crowned structures with their slender, needlelike windows were inspired by medieval churches built in France and Germany. They reflected the ideals of faith and glory of the Catholic Church at that time. The word "Gothic" was first used to describe these new buildings in 1422 by someone who did not like them, but instead praised their construction techniques. The term stuck and has been used ever since.
Are there other meanings of "Gothic"? Yes, quite a few others.