Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gothic architecture and light

During the era of Gothic architecture they made their churches bigger and with double rows of tall windows in the aisle walls, by doing this it made the inside of the churches more unified and free flowing, less narrow and divided, and more brightly illuminated than the interiors of French and English Gothic churches. This meant that more outside light was used and less candles were used on the inside; which meant that the churches were both more economical and safe. This meant that the churches were brighter and they didn't have to worry about the churches catching on fire by the use of more candles. To me this was a very innovated strategy. The architects of this era showed that they had studied the architectures of the past and spent a great deal of thinking and designing of a building that would last for quite a long, long time. When they built these churches they meant for them to last forever and since electricity had not been thought of at this time, they wanted the inside of these churches to be praised with light. When people entered the churches they wanted their eyes to be drawn upward toward the light in which served the purpose of raising their eyes toward God who was above everyone. It was almost like having a spiritual event in its self. The stained glasses also showed the beauty of God. The scenes in the stained glass told stories about and concerning Jesus during his days on earth and His Ascension into heaven. Someone who could not read was able to understand God's and Jesus' messages just by looking at the pictures done in the stained glass. So the double windows, the stained glass, and the height of the windows all served the purpose of light during this Gothic era. The architects of this era were brilliant. Light on the inside and the outside of the churches brought many to seek and understand God's plan for the world.

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