Cathedrals of the 12th Century
For nearly four hundred years Gothic style dominated the architecture of Western Europe.
It originated in northern France in the twelfth century, and spread rapidly across England and the
Continent, invading the old Viking empire of Scandinavia. It confronted the Byzantine provinces
of Central Europe and even made appearances in the near East and the Americas. Gothic
architects designed town halls, royal palaces, courthouses, and hospitals. They fortified cities and
castles to defend lands against invasion. But it was in the service of the church, the most prolific
builder of the Middl…
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