A History of Gothic Architecture

Western Europe

Norman Sicily, England, and France

Norman Apulia

Google-Earth markers for all Norman Sites

Otranto, Cathedral Santa Annunziata and the Academy of San Nicola di Casole, Apulia, Italy

GEmarker Otranto
GEmarker Casole

Façade of Otranto Cathedral,
photo Julianna Lees

Ruins of the Academy of S. Nicola di Casole
photo altrapulia

The Cathedral, normally considered Romanesque, was consecrated in 1088. The church, commissioned by Norman King Roger I, was later adorned (about 1163), by Bishop Jonathas, with a mosaic floor; it also has a rose window and portal of 1481. The interior, a basilica with nave and two aisles, contains columns said to come from a temple of Minerva and a fine mosaic pavement of 1166, with interesting representations of the months, Old Testament subjects and others. It has a crypt supported by forty-two marble columns. The same King Roger also founded a Basilian monastery (in ruins) in Casole, south of Otranto, which, under Abbot Nicetas, became an Academy; its famous library was nearly all bought by Basileos Bessarion (1401-1472).

Signs of the Zodiac

Alexander the Great
more photos lessing.com

Diana shooting a stag

The floor mosaic is the unique feature of Otranto: A Tree of Life covering the entire floor of the central nave overflowing with fantastic biblical, historical and mythological scenes interwoven with representations of the twelve months It was commissioned (1163-1165) by archbishop Gionata and was carried out by the monk Pantaleone, the (Greek!) headmaster of the painting school at the Academy of San Nicola di Casole (God forbid, was he a converso?). Pantaleone wanted to represent the human drama through the never ending struggle between Good and Evil, virtue and vice (Manichean?). He lived at a time when in Apulia Eastern Christianity and Islam coexisted and different cultures met.

Norman Sicily
GEmarker Cefalu
GEmarker Monreale

Norman Cefalu, Sicily, 1131
photo Wikipedia

Norman Monreale from the east, Sicily, 1180
photo Wikipedia

Following the Islamic conquest of Sicily in 965, the Normans – Vikings from Normandy - conquered the island at the same time as they invaded England (1042-66). They had been expanding south, driven by the myth of a happy and sunny island in the Southern Seas. The Norman Robert Guiscard ("the cunning"), son of Tancred, invaded Sicily in 1060. The island was split between three Arab emirs, and the sizable Christian population rebelled against the ruling Muslims. One year later Messina fell under the leadership of Roger I of Sicily, and in 1071, Palermo was taken by the Normans. The loss of the cities, each with a splendid harbor, dealt a severe blow to Muslim power on the island. Eventually all of Sicily was taken. In 1091, Noto in the southern tip of Sicily and the island of Malta, the last Arab strongholds, fell to the Christians.

An intense Norman-Arab-Byzantine culture developed, under rulers such as Roger II of Sicily, who had Islamic soldiers, poets and scientists at his court. Roger II himself spoke Arabic and was fond of Arab culture. He used Arab troops and siege engines in his campaigns in southern Italy. He mobilized Arab architects to build monuments in the Norman-Arab-Byzantine style. For Europe, Sicily became a model and an example which was universally admired.


Google-Earth markers for all Sites in England

Ely Cathedral, England
1083-15th cent

Ely Cathdral and Chapter House
Photo panoramio

Octagon over the Transept
Photo photobucket

View into the Nave
Photo tumblr

The present building was started by Abbot Simeon in 1083 during the reign of William I. The design was Norman Romanesque similar to Winchester, a cruciform plan with a central crossing tower. Work continued under Simeon’s successors. The main transepts were one of the first parts to be built and are the earliest part now surviving. By about 1140 the nave had been completed, together with the western transepts and tower up to triforium level, where the fairly plain early Norman Romanesque style of the earlier work gave way to a more exuberant pattern richly decorated with intersecting arches and complex molding. After a pause, work was resumed and the western transepts and tower were completed under Bishop Geoffrey Ridel (1174–89) in similarly ornate fashion but with pointed instead of semicircular arches.

In 1321 work began on a large (100' long by 46' wide) free-standing Lady Chapel, linked to the north aisle of the chancel by a covered walkway. This new structure was built in an exuberant 'Decorated' Gothic style. In 1322, possibly as a result of the lowering of the water table by preparatory work for the Lady Chapel, the Norman central crossing tower collapsed. In the following years the crossing was enlarged to an octagon, taking out the adjoining bays of the nave, chancel and transepts. The construction of this unique and distinctive feature was overseen by Alan of Walsingham. In about 1400 an octagonal lantern was added to the top of the west tower, and additional arches were inserted in the western crossing to arrest movement possibly caused or exacerbated by the extra weight.
Later in the fifteenth century, or very early in the sixteenth, the north-west transept collapsed. In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries elaborate chantry chapels were inserted in the easternmost bays of the presbytery aisles. - A long building history spanning several fashions in architectural style.

Durham Cathedral, England

Durham the Norman Cathedral,
photo durhamcathedral

Durham, the nave,
photo paulcahill.net

The present cathedral was designed and built in 1080 under William of St. Carilef (William of Calais) who was appointed as the first prince-bishop by William the Conqueror. Since that time, there have been major additions and reconstructions of some parts of the building, but the greater part of the structure remains true to the Norman design. Construction of the cathedral began in 1093 at the eastern end. The Gothic choir was completed by 1096.

Exeter Cathedral, Devon, England

Norman Exeter
photos and plan Wikipedia

The longest nave in England

Exeter, multi-ribbed ceiling in the nave

In 1107 William Warelwast, a nephew of William the Conqueror, was appointed to the see, and this was the catalyst for the building of a new cathedral in the Norman style. Its official foundation was in 1133, during Warelwast's time, but it took many more years to complete. Following the appointment of Walter Bronescombe as bishop in 1258, the building was already recognized as outmoded, and it was rebuilt in the Decorated Gothic style. However, much of the Norman building was kept, including the two massive square towers and part of the walls. It was constructed entirely of local stone, including Purbeck Marble. The new cathedral was complete by about 1400, apart from the addition of the chapter house and chantry chapels.

Peterborough Cathedral, England

Peterborough Cathedral, transitional Norman
photo paradoxplaces

Peterborough Cathedral, the transitional nave
photo Wikipedia

Peterborough Cathedral is known for its imposing Early English Gothic West Front (façade) which, with its three enormous arches, is without architectural precedent and with no direct successor. An original Anglo-Saxon church was destroyed by a fire in 1116. This event necessitated the building of a new church in the Norman style, begun by Abbot John de Sais in 1118. By 1193 the building was completed to the western end of the Nave, including the central tower and the decorated wooden ceiling of the nave. The ceiling, completed between 1230 and 1250, still survives. It is unique in Britain and one of only four such ceilings in the whole of Europe.

Canterbury Cathedral, England

Poor Man's Bible Window
Photo Wikimedia

Aerial view of the Cathedral
Photo drttours

View of the Gothic choir
Photo cathedrals.uk

Due to frequent disasters and historical events today's church is a conglomerate of architectural styles and periods. Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the twelfth century, and largely rebuilt in the Norman Gothic style following a fire in 1174. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late fourteenth century, when they were demolished to make way for the present structures.

The cathedral was seriously damaged by an earthquake of 1382, losing its bells and campanile. Thereafter the nave and transepts were rebuilt on the Norman foundations in the Perpendicular style under the direction of master mason Henry Yevele. A shortage of money, and the priority given to the rebuilding of the cloisters and chapter-house meant that the rebuilding of the west towers was neglected. The south-west tower was not replaced until 1458, and the Norman north-west tower survived until 1834, when it was, due to structural concerns, replaced by a replica of its Perpendicular companion.

Wells Cathedral, Somerset, England

Wells Cathedral. The unique interior, 1174
photo Panoramio

Wells, South Aisle, !220s
photo alexchungsart

Wells Cathedral in England, commenced at the eastern end in 1175, was the first building in which the designer broke free from Romanesque forms. The architect entirely dispensed with the round arch in favor of the pointed arch and with cylindrical columns in favor of piers composed of clusters of shafts which lead into the moldings of the arches. The transepts and nave were continued by Adam Locke in the same style and completed in about 1230. The character of the building is entirely Gothic. Wells Cathedral is thus he first truly Gothic cathedral.

Salisbury Cathedral, England


Salisbury Cathedral from the south-west
photo Wikipedia

Salisbury, nave, fully developed Norman Gothic
photo Wikipedia

Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral and one of the leading examples of Early English architecture. The foundation stone was laid on 28 April 1220. As a result of the high water table in the location, the cathedral was built on only four feet of foundations, and by 1258 the nave, transepts and choir were complete. The west front was ready by 1265. The cloisters and chapter house were completed around 1280. Because most of the cathedral was built in only 38 years, it has a single consistent architectural style, Early English Gothic.

London, Westminster Abbey, England

Aerial view of the Cathedral
Photo flickr

The vast Interior.
Place of Coronations and the seat of the House of Lords
Photo panoramio

The proven origins of St Peter's Cathedral at Westminster are that in the 960s or early 970s, Saint Dunstan, assisted by King Edgar, installed a community of Benedictine monks here. Between 1042 and 1052 King Edward the Confessor began rebuilding St Peter's Abbey in order to provide himself with a royal burial church. It was the first church in England built in the Norman style. It was not completed until around 1090 but was consecrated on 28 December 1065. Edward died a week later,
His successor, Harold II, was probably crowned in the abbey, although the first documented coronation is that of William the Conqueror later the same year. Construction of the present church was begun in 1245 by Henry III who selected the church for his burial. Work continued between 1245 and 1517 and was largely finished by the architect Henry Yevele in the reign of Richard II. The Abbey's two western towers were built between 1722 and 1745 by Nicholas Hawksmoor, an early example of a Gothic Revival design.
Westminster Abbey is a collegiate church governed by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, as established by Royal charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1560, which created it as the Collegiate Church of St Peter Westminster and a Royal Peculiar under the personal jurisdiction of the Sovereign. Since then the church is no longer an abbey nor a cathedral.

Bath, Abbey Church SS. Peter and Paul, England

Bath Abbey from the West
Photo bathcaravanpark

The older eastern Nave
Photo wordpress

Ceiling of East Nave
Photo tumblr

Bath Abbey Church is the last of the great Gothic churches in England. Bath was ravaged in the power struggle between the sons of William the Conqueror following his death in 1087. The victor, William Rufus, granted the city to a royal physician, John of Tours, who became Bishop of Wells and Abbot of Bath. It was likely the abbey's wealth that attracted John to take over the monastery. By acquiring Bath, he also acquired the mint that was in the city. In 1090, he became the first Bishop of Bath, and St Peter's was raised to cathedral status. John of Tours planned a new cathedral on a grand scale, but only the ambulatory was complete when he died in 1122. The half-finished cathedral was devastated by fire in 1137, but work continued under Godfrey, the new bishop, until it was finished about 1161.

During the following 300 years Bath Cathedral gradually fell into disrepair. In 1499 the famous church was in ruins. Now the Crown decided to save the church. Robert and William Vertue, the king's masons were commissioned, promising to build the finest vault in England. They appointed Thomas Lynne to supervise the work. He did not live to see the result, but the restoration of the cathedral was completed just a few years before the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. The church was extensively restored in 1830-1860, including the ceiling and windows.
See the poor but verbose Wikipedia article, from which everybody copies myself including.


Google-Earth markers for all Sites in France

Vezelay, Gislebertus' Tympanon of the Basilica La Madeleine, France

Vezelay, Gislebertus' Tympanon of La Madeleine
photo RWFG

La Madeleine Basilica of the Abbey of Vezelay is a high Romanesque cathedral (1040-1104). It became the starting point of the Second Crusade (1145-1149). To accommodate the large number of pilgrims a larger portal was needed and Gislebertus, the sculptor of Autun was given the commission for the Tympanon over the door. It would be his last work.
The above Wikipedia article is well worth reading. It gives an interpretation of the New Christ Gislebertus created and the figures that surround him. It opened my eyes.

Noyon Cathedral, France

Noyon, the Nave 1145, Choir 1230, present Vaulting 1293,
The first pointed arches in Northern Europe, photo Wikipedia

According to art-historical widom, pointed arches are supposed to have first appeared in the nave of the Cathedral of Noyon. The main interior elevation is typical for a transitional Gothic church, with four stories: aisle arcade, gallery arcade, blind triforium and clerestory. The overall elevation resembles that at Tournai Cathedral, with arches springing from columns. This was changed in the transepts, where there is an aisle arcade, blind triforium, and lower and upper clerestories, and the line of the respond extends all the way to the floor.

St. Denis, Cathedral, France

St. Denis, West Façade, before 1144
photo Wikipedia

St. Denis, east-end of the main nave, 13th cent
photo wordpress

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis (French: Cathédrale Royale de Saint-Denis) is a large medieval abbey church in the city of Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris. The building is of unique importance historically and architecturally, as its choir completed in 1144 is considered to be the first French Gothic church.
In the 12th century Abbot Suger rebuilt the choir of the abbey church using innovative structural and decorative means The basilica's 13th-century church is the prototype for the Rayonnant Gothic style. Its Rosette Window in the West-Façade will henceforth characterize the French Gothic style.

The church became the burial place of the French kings, with nearly every king from the 10th to the 18th centuries being buried there, as well as many from previous centuries. (It was not used for the coronations of kings, that function being reserved for the Cathedral of Reims; however, queens were commonly crowned there.) "Saint-Denis" became the abbey church of a growing monastic complex.

Laon, Cathedral Notre Dame, France

photo gotik-romanik.de

Laon Cathedral
photo flickr.com

The Laon Rose Widow
photo flickr

Laon Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Laon) is one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture, earlier than the cathedrals of Sens and Notre Dame of Paris yet ranking with them in importance.
The current cathedral is built on the site of an earlier church commenced under the episcopacy of Gerfrid (774-800). That Carolingian cathedral was consecrated on 6 September 800 in the presence of the emperor himself.
The present Laon Cathedral dates from the 12th and early 13th centuries, an early example of the Gothic style that originated in Northern France. The present reconstruction began with a choir in about 1160 and was finished as far as the east side of the transept by 1174. In a second campaign, which started about 1180, the nave was built, and completed after 1205. Then the choir was replaced by the greatly lengthened present choir in 1215.
The west front, now with three porches, the center one surmounted by a fine rose window of 1210, ranks next to that of Notre Dame de Paris in the purity of its Gothic style. Because of the use of white stone in the interior, however, the luminosity is remarkably greater than at Notre-Dame. The cathedral has stained glass of the 13th century and a chancel screen of the 18th century. Although the cathedral suffered some damage during the French Revolution and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, it escaped both World Wars unharmed.

Sens, Cathedral St. Etienne, France

West Façade
Photo france-for-visitors

Photo oberlin

Detail stained-glass window
Photo redbubble

Sens Cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Sens, is one of the earliest Gothic buildings in the country, and the largest of the early Gothic churches. The choir was begun in 1140. As was typical in Gothic cathedral construction that work progressed westwards. The nave and the west front were built around 1200. The structure was finally completed in the 16th century. The architecture of its choir influenced, through the architect William of Sens, by that of the choir of Canterbury Cathedral. For that reason there is as yet no rosette window.
Sens' nave is unusually wide, and the church is larger in overall scale than its contemporaries at Saint Denis, Noyon or Senlis. As is typical with early Gothic architecture, the vaulting is sexpartite, surmounting a modest clerestory, with alternating piers and columns between bays. Sens may have been the first church to be completely vaulted in this manner. Sens did not initially have transepts; these were only completed in the late 13th and early 14th centuries in the late Gothic rayonnant style

St Malo, Cathedral St. Vincent of Saragossa, France
1155-13th cent

Stained-glass by Jean Le Moal, 1971
Photo visitelaclairefontain

The Cathedral squeezed between houses
Photo gotik-romanik.de

The modern rosette window
Photo bp,blogspot

The cathedral was built on the site of an earlier church from the 7th century under the episcopate of Jean de Chatillon (1146-1163). From this period remain: a part of the cloister, the nave, the transept and a span of each of the north and south arms. The chancel was rebuilt in the mid 13th century in the Norman Gothic style. The bell tower was raised in 1422
Restorations ​​in the 19th century replaced three bays of the choir. The latter destroyed in 1944 was rebuilt in 1987. The restoration work of the building was entrusted after the Second War to architect Raymond Cornon and more recently Peter Prunet. The windows of the aisles are modern (1971) made by Max Ingrand, those of the West-face, the choir and transept ​​by Jean Le Moal.
Text: patremoin.region-bretagne.fr

Soissons, Cathedral, France

New windows on South Aisle
Photo stanparry

West-work of the Cathedral
Photo flashcards

West rose window behind the organ
Photo stanparry

Soissons' Basilica (Basilique Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais de Soissons) is a High Gothic cathedral. The construction of the south transept was begun about 1177, and the lowest courses of the choir in 1182. The choir with its original three-storey elevation and extremely tall clerestory was completed in 1211. This was earlier than Chartres, on which the design is commonly supposed to have been based. Work then continued into the nave until the late 13th century. The single western tower dates from the mid-13th century and is a copy of those of Notre Dame de Paris. The tower and part of the nave were severely damaged in World War I and restored thereafter.
The choir end of the cathedral has stained glass from the 13th century. A tapestry from the 15th century depicts the life of the martyrs Gervasius and Protasius, the patron saints of the cathedral. Rubens' "Adoration of the Shepherds" hangs in the northern transept.

Paris, Notre Dame, France

The West Rosette
Photo icyseas

View from the Seine (south side)
Photo urbandecay

A lucky photo of the South Rosette
Photo blogspot

In 1160, Bishop Maurice de Sully had the previous Merovingian cathedral, Saint-Étienne (St Stephen's) founded in the 4th century, demolished shortly after he assumed the title of Bishop of Paris. In 1163 he laid the cornerstone for Notre-Dame de Paris; construction begins: 1182 Apse and choir completed, 1196 Bishop Maurice de Sully dies, 1200 Work begins on western facade, 1225 Western facade was completed, 1250 Western towers and north rose window completed, 1245–1260s Transepts remodeled in the Rayonnant style by Jean de Chelles then Pierre de Montreuil. Between 1250 an 1345 the remaining elements (sculpture, gargoyles) were completed.
The most significant change in design came in the mid 13th century, when the transepts were remodeled in the latest Rayonnant style; in the late 1240s Jean de Chelles added a gabled portal to the north transept topped off by a rose window. Shortly afterward (1258) Pierre de Montreuil executed a similar scheme on the southern transept. Both transept portals were embellished with sculpture; the south portal features scenes from the lives of St Stephen and of various local saints, while the north portal featured the infancy of Christ and the story of Theophilus.

Chartres, Cathedral Notre Dame, France

West Façade
Photo Wikimedia

The Cathedral rising above the small town
Photo friendsofchartres

Flying buttresses holding the windows
Photo cloudfront

Chartres Cathedral, Basilique Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The current cathedral, mostly constructed between 1194 and 1250, is the last of at least five which have occupied the site since the town became a bishopric in the 4th century. The cathedral is in an exceptional state of preservation. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century.

Belle Verriere, 13th cent
Photo wikimedia

Rose Window (north transept)
Photo wikimedia

Tree Jesse, (upper three panels)
13th cent
Photo wikimedia

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Chartres Cathedral is the extent to which architectural structure has been adapted to meet the needs of stained glass. The use of a three-part elevation with external buttressing allowed for far larger windows than earlier designs, particularly at the clerestory level. Most cathedrals of the period had a mixture of windows containing plain or grisaille glass and windows containing dense stained glass panels, with the result that the brightness of the former tended to diminish the impact and legibility of the latter. At Chartres, nearly all of the 176 windows were filled with equally dense stained glass, creating a relatively dark but richly colored interior
The majority of the windows now visible at Chartres were made and installed between 1205 and 1240, however four lancets preserve panels of Romanesque glass from the 12th century which survived the fire of 1195. Three of these are located beneath the rose in the west façade; the Passion window to the south, the Infancy of Christ in the center and a Tree of Jesse to the north. All three of these windows were originally made around 1145 but were restored in the early 13th century and again in the 19th. The other 12th-century window, perhaps the most famous at Chartres is the so-called Belle Verrière, found in the first bay of the choir after the south transept. This window is actually a composite; the upper part, showing the Virgin and child surrounded by adoring angels, dates from around 1180 and was probably positioned at the centre of the apse in the earlier building.

All the glass from the cathedral had been removed in 1939 for cleaning, just before the Germans invaded France, and it was finally cleaned after the War and re-leaded before replacing. While the city suffered heavy damage by shelling in the course of World War II, the cathedral was spared by an American Army officer who challenged the order to destroy it.

Strasbourg, Cathedral of Our Lady, Alsace, France

The Cathedral in Strasbourg
Photo julia-mathewson

The Main Portal
Photo Panoramio

Astronomical Clock
Photo nawcc

Although parts of the cathedral are still in the Romanesque style, it is considered to be among the finest examples of high, or late, Gothic architecture. Erwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions from 1277 to his death in 1318.
In 1015, bishop Werner von Habsburg laid the first stone of a new cathedral on the ruins of the Carolingian basilica. He then constructed a cathedral in the Romanesque style. That cathedral burned to the ground in 1176 because at that time the naves were covered with a wooden framework.
After that disaster, bishop Heinrich von Hasenburg decided to construct a new cathedral, to be more beautiful than that of Basel, which was just being finished. Construction of the new cathedral began on the foundations of the preceding structure, and did not end until centuries later. The Carolingian crypt, which had survived, was kept and expanded westwards.
The construction began with the choir and the north transept in a Romanesque style, inspired by the Imperial Cathedrals in its monumentality and height. But in 1225, a team coming from Chartres revolutionized the plans by suggesting to rebuild it in the Gothic style. The parts of the nave that had already been begun in Romanesque style were torn down, and in order to find money to finish the nave, the Chapter resorted to Indulgences in 1253.
The influence of the Chartres masters is also evident in the sculptures and statues: the "Pillar of Angels" (Pilier des anges); a Last Judgment on a pillar in the southern transept, facing the Astronomical clock, owes to their expressive style.
The famous West Façade, decorated with thousands of figures, is a masterpiece of the Gothic. The tower is one of the first to rely substantially on craftsmanship, with the final appearance being one with a high degree of linearity captured in stone. Strasbourg has one of the earliest façades whose construction is inconceivable without prior architectural drawings - supplied by Erwin von Steinbach. The north tower, completed in 1439, was the world's tallest building until 1874 (when the tower of St. Nikolai's Church in Hamburg was completed). The planned south tower was never built.
In 1578 the City Council assigned the Cathedral to the Protestants. After the annexation of the Alsace by Louis XIV of France, on 30 September 1681, the Cathedral was returned to the Catholics and its inside redesigned according to the Baroque tastes of the Counter-Reformation.
During WW II, the stained glass was removed in 74 cases from the Strasbourg Cathedral and stored in a salt mine near Heilbronn, Germany. The Cathedral was hit by Allied bombs during air raids on Strasbourg's center on 11 August 1944.

Rouen, Cathedral Notre Dame, France

Crucifixion Tympanon, Side-Door
Photo Panoramio

St Romain's Tower ad West Façade
Photo injoanofarcsfootsteps

The Transept
Photo infrancia

All earlier buildings perished during a Viking raid in the 9th century. Construction on the current building began in the 12th century in the Early Gothic style for Saint Romain's tower, front side porches and part of the nave. The cathedral was burnt in 1200. Others were built in the High Gothic style: nave, transept, choir and first floor of the lantern tower in the 13th century; side chapels, lady's chapel and side doorways in the 14th century. Some windows are still decorated with stained glass of the 13th century, famous because of a special cobalt blue color, known as "the blue of Chartres". Construction of the north transept commenced in 1280.
The cathedral was again struck by lightning in 1284. In 1302, the old Lady chapel was taken down and a new Lady chapel was built in 1360. The spire was blown down in 1353, the choir windows were enlarged in 1430, the upper story of the north-west tower was added in 1477, the gable of the north transept in 1478.
Some more was added in the Late Gothic style, these include the upper-most of Saint Romain's two stories (16th century). Construction of the south-west tower began in 1485, it was finished in 1507.
During World War II the cathedral was bombed in April 1944 by the British Royal Air Force. Seven bombs fell into the building, narrowly missing a key pillar of the lantern tower, but damaging much of the south aisle and destroying two rose windows. A second bombing by the U.S. Air Force (before the Normandy Landings in June 1944) burnt the oldest St. Romain Tower.

Three of Claude Monet's eleven Views of Rouen Cathedral, 1892-94
Photos artistsw

The most famous paintings of the cathedral were done by Claude Monet, who produced a series of eleven paintings of the building showing the same scene at different times of the day and in different weather conditions. Two of the paintings are in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; one is in the Getty Center in Los Angeles, CA; one is in the National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade; one is in a museum in Cologne; one in the Rouen fine art museum; and five are in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

Rouen, Abbey St. Ouen, France

The Cathedral
Photo tripstance

The Transept
Photo Wikimedia

The great organ
Photo iperniyty

The church was originally built as the abbey church of Saint Ouen for the Benedictine Order, beginning in 1318 and interrupted by the Hundred Years' War it was sacked and badly damaged during the Harelle riots. It was completed in the 15th century in the Flamboyant style.
The central crossing is surmounted by an unusual lantern tower similar to that at Ely Cathedral in England. The tower was completed in the Flamboyant style. The well-preserved stained glass of the nave dates to the 15th and 16th centuries, and features jewel tones among panels of clear and frosted white glass. These materials allow more light to filter into the nave, creating a brighter interior than is typical of Gothic churches. Despite the use of Flamboyant tracery in the aisles, triforium, and clerestory, the nave maintains a conservative appearance through the use of compound piers, trumpet bases, and capitals which helps maintain harmony throughout the edifice. The west façade was never completed during the Middle Ages. It was constructed between 1846 and 1851 in a Neo-Gothic style that bears little resemblance to the original Late Gothic designs.

Mont St Michel Abbey, Normandy, France

Mont St. Michelle Island
Photo cottagekitchen

Older part of the Abbey
Photo all free photos

High Gothic Choir
Photo travelpod

In 710, Mont-Tombe (the name of the rock in the tide lands) was renamed Mont-Saint-Michel-au-péril-de-la-Mer (Mont Saint Michel at the peril of the sea) after erecting an oratory to Saint Michel by bishop Saint Aubert of Avranches. This sanctuary was supposed to be a replica of the one in Gargano, Italy. Aubert sent two monks to get some relics from the Tuscan monastery (a rock with a foot print and a piece of tissue from the altar).
Notre-Dame Sous-Terre (Our Mother Underground) the original church of the-abbey (966) was completely covered by later expansions of the abbey and was forgotten until it was discovered during some excavations at the beginning of the 20th century. It has since been restored and offers a beautiful example of early Romanesque architecture

Notre-Dame-Sous-Terre, ~980

Trente-Cierges chapels, 1115-1125
Plans adapted from wikipedia

New Gothic Church 1446-1523 and 1776

Since space was limited the abbey was expanded on three levels vertically. As more pilgrims came to Mont Saint Michel, it was decided to expand the abbey by building a new church at the site of the monk quarter, which was moved to the North of Notre-Dame-Sous-Terre.
The new church first had three crypts build: the Trente-Cierges chapels (under the North wing), the choir crypt (to the East) and Saint-Martin chapel (under the South wing) (1031-1047). Then Abbot Ranulphe started the construction of the nave in 1060. In 1080, three levels were built to the North of Notre-Dame-Sous-Terre, including the "salle de l’Aquilon".
Poorly built, three spans on the West side of the nave collapsed in 1103. Abbot Roger II had them rebuilt in 1115-1125. In 1421 the Romanesque choir collapsed. It too was rebuilt in Gothic style from 1446 to 1523.
After a fire in 1776 it was decided to replace the three western spans of the nave and, in 1780, the current classicist facade was built. The foundations to support it led to the split in two of Notre-Dame-Sous-Terre.

Reims, Cathedral Notre Dame, France

Southwestern view of the Cathedral
Photo cbcurtis

Coronation of the Virgin
Photo flashcards

Western Nave
Photo Wikipedia

Excavations have shown that the present building occupies roughly the same site as the original cathedral, founded ~400 under the episcopacy of St Nicaise. That church was rebuilt during the Carolingian period. In 1210 the cathedral was damaged by fire and reconstruction started shortly after, beginning at the eastern end. Documentary records show the acquisition of land to the west of the site in 1218, suggesting the new cathedral was substantially larger than its predecessors.
In 1233 a long-running dispute between the cathedral chapter and the town (regarding issues of taxation and legal jurisdiction) boiled over into open revolt. Several clerics were killed during the resulting violence, and the entire cathedral chapter fled the city.
Work on the new cathedral was suspended for three years, only resuming in 1236 after the clergy returned to the city, and the interdict was lifted following mediation by the King and the Pope. Construction then continued more slowly. The area from the crossing eastwards was in use by 1241 but the nave was not roofed until 1299 (when the French King lifted the tax on lead used for that purpose). Work on the west facade took place in several phases, which is reflected in the different styles of some of the sculptures. The upper parts of the facade were completed in the 14th century, but apparently following 13th century designs, giving Reims an unusual unity of style.

Imi Knoebel's Widows, 2011
Photo dw.de

Rosette over the Main Portal
Photo therosewindow

Marc Chagall's Windows, 1974
Photo wikipedia

The cathedral has a number of stained glass windows from the 13th century. The rose window over the main portal and the gallery beneath are of rare magnificence. Noteworthy are the modern windows, among them three by Marc Chagall (1974). In 2011 during the celebration of the cathedral's 800th anniversary. six new stained glass windows were installed designed by the German artist Imi Knoebel. - Gerhard Richter had declined to take on that politically and artistically controversial job. He had collected poor experiences with his abstract window for the Cologne Dom in 2007.

Amiens, Cathedral Notre Dame, France

Portal, Creation of Eve
Photo wikipedia

Cathedral from southwest
Photo franceballade

Portal, Expulsion from Paradise
Photo wikipedia

The lack of documentation concerning the construction of the Gothic cathedral may be in part the result of fires that destroyed the chapter archives in 1218 and again in 1258—a fire that damaged the cathedral itself.
The west front of the cathedral, built in a single campaign from 1220 to 1236, shows an unusual degree of artistic unity: Its lower tier with three vast deep porches is capped with the gallery of twenty-two over life-size kings, which stretches across the entire façade beneath the rose window. Above the rose window there is an open arcade, the galerie des sonneurs. Flanking the nave, the two towers were built without close regard to the former design, the south tower being finished in 1366, the north one, reaching higher, in 1406.
The western portals of the cathedral are famous for their elaborate sculpture, featuring a gallery of locally-important saints and large eschatological scenes. Statues of saints in the portal of the cathedral have been identified as including the locally venerated Saints Victoricus and Gentian, Saint Domitius, Saint Ulphia, and Saint Fermin. The spire over the central crossing was added between 1529 and 1533

During the process of laser cleaning in the 1990s, it was discovered that the western façade of the cathedral was originally painted in multiple colors. A technique was perfected to determine the exact make-up of the colors as they were applied in the 13th century. Then, in conjunction with the laboratories of EDF and the expertise of the Society Skertzo, elaborate lighting techniques were developed to project these colors directly on the façade with precision, recreating the polychromatic appearance of the 13th century. When projected on the statues around the portals, the result is a stunning display that brings the figures to life.
Although it has lost most of its original stained glass, Amiens Cathedral is renowned for the quality and quantity of early 13th-century Gothic sculpture in the main west façade and the south transept portal, and a large number of polychrome sculpture from later periods inside the building (see Wikipedia for photos)

Beauvais, Cathedral St. Pierre, Picardie, France

Beauvais Cathedral
Photo france-horizons

The Choir
Photo flickr

Cross-section of the Choir
Photo columbia.edu

The Cathedral of Saint Peter at Beauvais, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais, is an unfinished cathedral in Beauvais, in northern France. It is, in some respects, the most daring achievement of Gothic architecture, and consists only of a transept (16th-century) and choir, with an apse and seven polygonal apsidal chapels (13th century), which are reached by an ambulatory.
Work was begun in 1225 under count-bishop Miles de Nanteuil, immediately after the third in a series of fires in the old wooden-roofed basilica, which had reconsecrated its altar only three years before the fire; the choir was completed in 1272, in two campaigns, with an interval (1232–38) owing to a funding crisis provoked by a struggle with Louis IX.
Under Bishop Guillaume de Grez, an extra 4.9 m had been added to the height, to make it the highest-vaulted cathedral in Europe. The vaulting in the interior of the choir reaches 48 m in height, far surpassing the concurrently constructed Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Amiens, with its 42-meter nave.
Work was interrupted in 1284 by the collapse of some of the vaulting of the recently completed choir. Notwithstanding, the design competition continued, and the choir was rebuilt at the same height, albeit with more columns in the chevet and choir, converting the vaulting from quadripartite to sexpartite vaulting. The transept was built from 1500 to 1548. In 1573, the collapse of a too-ambitious 153-m central tower stopped work again. The tower would have made the church the tallest structure in the world at the time. Afterward little structural additions were made.
In the race to build the tallest cathedral in the 13th century, the builders of Saint-Pierre de Beauvais pushed existing technology to the limit. Even though the structure was to be taller, the buttresses were made thinner in order to pass maximum light into the cathedral. It is now believed that the collapse of 1284 was caused by resonant vibrations caused by high winds. The original design included a nave that was never built. Thus, the absence of shouldering support that would have been contributed by the nave contributes to the structural weakness of the cathedral.
The structural problems are continuing. During the 1990s, to keep the transept from collapsing, wooden braces had to be installed in the Choir. In addition, the main floor of the transept was interrupted by a much larger brace that rises out of the floor at a 45-degree angle. This brace was installed as an emergency measure to give additional support to the pillars that, until now, have held up the vault. Columbia University is performing a study on a three-dimensional model constructed using laser scans of the building in an attempt to determine the weaknesses in the building and any remedies.

Paris, Sainte Chapelle, France

Sainte-Chapelle or 'Holy Chapel', in the courtyard of the royal palace on the Île de la Cité was built to house Louis IX's, "Saint Louis", collection of relics of Christ, which included the Crown of Thorns, the Image of Edessa and some thirty other items, purchased from the Byzantine emperor.
Begun some time after 1239 and consecrated on 26 April 1248, Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the highest achievements of Rayonnant Gothic architecture. It stands upon an older lower chapel, which served as parish church for the inhabitants of the palace.

Seven of the 15 Windows in the Upper Chapel
Photo formolu

The most famous features of the chapel are its stained glass windows, for their benefit the stone wall surface was reduced to little more than a delicate framework. Fifteen huge mid-13th-century windows fill the nave and apse, while a large rose window with Flamboyant tracery (added 1490) dominates the western wall.
Much of the chapel as it appears today is a re-creation, although nearly two-thirds of the windows are authentic. The chapel suffered its most grievous destruction during the French Revolution, when the steeple and baldachin were removed, the relics dispersed, and various reliquaries, including the grande châsse, were melted down.
Its well-documented restoration, completed under the direction of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1855, was regarded as exemplary by contemporaries and is faithful to the original drawings and descriptions of the chapel that survive.
Sainte-Chapelle has been under restoration since the late 1970s. Air pollution, the elements and the large number of visitors were causing damage to the stained glass windows. Most of the funding has been provided by private donors. Included in the restoration will be an innovative glass layer applied over the stained glass windows for added protection.

Selestat-Schlettstadt, St. Georges, Alsace, France

The Church
Photo pagespesro-orange

The West Window
Photo wikimedia

The Choir
Photo fotocummunity

Originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the church has been named after Saint George since 1500.
Most of the Gothic basilica was built by Sélestat merchants. Its construction attests to the growing wealth and independence of the merchant class. Building of the new church — on a Latin cross floor plan with three aisles and a transept — started around 1220 and continued until the early 15th century. The side aisles were built during the first year, and the nave itself was raised in 1235.
The west end was constructed in the early 14th century. Similarly, the west tower, topped with an octagon with pinnacles, is dated to the 14th century, although the work was interrupted during this century. The construction of three large choir spans began at the end of that century.
Three architects were involved in this work. The first was Johann Obrecht, Mayor of Schlettstatt in 1401 and the second was Matthis, between 1400 and 1410. But the most famous was the third, Erhart Kindelin, who probably built the three bays of the apse between 1415 and 1422. The construction of the tower continued during the 15th century and a wood screen was built in 1489 and 1490 by Conrad Sifer, but was destroyed during the French Revolution.
A bay by the choir has seven stained glass windows that still contain sections dated to between 1430 and 1460. The eleven glass windows in the aisles are the work of François Chapuis and date from 1986.
The original organ by Johann Andreas Silbermann was moved to the Dominican church in Colmar in 1896. It was replaced that year by an instrument by Martin Rinckenbach (1834–1917). This was damaged by shelling in 1944, restored and then restored again in 1975. The railings show the arms of the town of Sélestat.


Google-Earth markers for all Sites in Belgium

Tournai, Cathedral Notre Dame, Belgium

The Romanesque Nave
photo gotik-romanik.de

Tournai Cathedral
photo gotik-romanik.de

The High Gothic Choir
photo gotik-romanik.de

Begun in the 12th century on even older foundations, the building combines the work of three design periods with striking effect, the heavy and severe character of the Romanesque nave contrasting remarkably with the Transitional work of the transept and the fully developed Gothic of the choir. The transept is the most distinctive part of the building, with its cluster of five bell towers and apsidal (semicircular) ends.
The transept arms, built in about the mid-12th century, have apsidal ends, a feature borrowed in all probability from certain Rhenish churches. Bishop Gautier de Marvis (1219-1252) had the original Romanesque choir demolished in order to replace it with a Gothic choir of much grander dimensions, inspired by Amiens Cathedral. The construction of the new choir began in 1242, and ended in 1255. The rest of the cathedral was supposed to be rebuilt in the same style as the choir, but financial support lacking, this was never attempted.
The Cathedral was damaged by a severe tornado on the 24 August 1999. Assessment of the damage revealed underlying structural problems and the Cathedral has been undergoing extensive repairs and archaeological investigations ever since.

Mechelen, St. Rumbold's Cathedral, Brabant, Belgium

Adorants before the Black Madonna
Photo Wikipedia

De Grote Markt
Photo flickr

Crucifixion, 15th cent
Photo discoverflanders

Construction of the church started shortly after 1200, and it was consecrated in 1312, when part had become usable. From 1324 onwards the flying buttresses and revised choir structure acquired characteristics that would distinguish Brabantine Gothic from French Gothic. After a city fire in 1342, the Master Mason Jean d'Oisy managed repairs and continued this second phase, which by the time of his death in 1375 formed the prototype for that High Gothic style. His successors finished the vaults of the nave by 1437, and those of the choir by 1451.
During the final phase of 1452-1520, the tower was erected. The very heavy St. Rumbold's tower (167 m) was built on what had once been wetlands, though with foundations only three meters deep, its site appears to have been well-chosen. St-Rumbold's should have been topped by a 77-meter spire but for financial reasons only seven meters of this were built, hence the unusual shape.
Few original movables survive in the cathedral. Forty preciously decorated Gothic altars and all other furniture disappeared during the religious troubles of 1566-1585: Though the cathedral was spared in the 1566 Iconoclasm, Mechelen was sacked in the 1572 for three-days by the Spanish who slaughtered the town's citizen under command of Alba's son Fadrique, and later suffered the English Fury pillaging in 1580.

Brussels, Cathedral SS. Michael and Gudula, Belgium

The Façade, note missing Rosette
Photo wikipedia

Brabantian Interior
Photo tripadvisor

Roof of the Baroque Chancel, 1699
Photo trabel.com

Henry II, Duke of Brabant commissioned the building of a Gothic collegiate church in 1226. The choir was constructed between 1226 and 1276. It took about 300 years to finish the entire church. It was completed just before the reign of the emperor Charles V commenced in 1519.
The western façade with its three portals surmounted by gables and two towers are typical of the French Gothic style, but without rose window, which is replaced by a large window in the Brabantian Gothic style. The two towers, the upper parts of which are arranged in terraces, are attributed to the Flemish architect Jan Van Ruysbroeck (1470-1485), who also designed the tower of the Town Hall of Brussels.
The nave has all the characteristics of the Brabantian Gothic: the four-part vaults are moderately high and the robust cylindrical columns that line the central aisle of the nave are topped with capitals in the form of cabbage leaves. The nave has a Baroque pulpit made by Antwerp sculptor Hendrik Frans Verbruggen in 1699.

Ghent, St. Nicholas, Belgium

Sint Niklaas,Ghent
Photo wikipedia

The High Altar and the Choir
Photo wikipedia

Canopy of the Baroque Altar
Photo trabel

St. Nicholas' Church, Sint-Niklaaskerk, is one of the oldest and most prominent landmarks in Ghent, Belgium. Begun in the early 13th century as a replacement for an earlier Romanesque church, construction continued through the rest of the century in the local Scheldt Gothic style (named after the nearby river). Typical of this style is the high west window and the use of blue-gray stone from the Tournai area, the single large tower above the crossing, and the slender turrets at the building's corners.
Built in the old trade center of Ghent next to the bustling Korenmarkt (Wheat Market), St. Nicholas' Church was popular with the guilds whose members carried out their business nearby. The guilds had their own chapels, which were added to the sides of the church in the 14th and 15th centuries.
The central tower, which was funded in part by the city, served as an observation post and carried the town bells until the neighboring belfry of Ghent was built. These two towers, along with the Saint Bavo Cathedral, still define the medieval skyline of the city center. One of the treasures of the church is its organ, produced by the French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

Antwerp, Cathedral of Our Lady, Belgium

The “unfinished” Cathedral
Photo eurobuildings

Interior: Octagon-Transept
Photo blogspot

Peter Paul Rubens, Raising of the Cross
Photo recommend

The Cathedral of Our Lady, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal, the Roman Catholic cathedral of Antwerp,was started in 1352 and, although the first stage of construction was ended in 1521, it has never been finished in Gothic style, its architects were Jan and Pieter Appelmans. It contains a number of significant works by the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, as well as paintings by artists such as Otto van Veen, Jacob de Backer and Marten de Vos.
Around 1798, the French administration intended to demolish the building. In 1816, various important works of art were returned from Paris, including three Rubens masterpieces. And over the course of the 19th century, the church was completely restored and refurnished. Between 1965 and 1993, a complete restoration took place.

Brugge, Onze Lieve Vrouwen Cathedral, Belgium

Tomb of Maria of Burgundy
wife of Emperor Maximilian I of Hapsburg
Photo panoramio

The Cathedral
Photo yozo

Photo panoramio

The Church of Our Lady in Bruges dates mainly from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.
In the choir space behind the high altar are the tombs of Charles the Bold, last Duke of Burgundy, and his daughter Mary, wife of German Emperor Maximilian I. Mary's son, Philip the Handsome, became King Philip I of Spain through his wife Joanna of Castile, the Mad, and thus founded the Spanish claim on Brabant. The gilded bronze effigies of both father and daughter repose at full length on polished slabs of black stone.
The altarpiece of the large chapel in the southern aisle enshrines the most celebrated art treasure of the church—a white marble sculpture of the Madonna and Child by Michelangelo (1504). Probably meant originally for Siena Cathedral, it was purchased in Italy by two Brugean merchants, the brothers Jan and Alexander Mouscron, and in 1514 donated to the Bruges Cathedral. The sculpture was twice recovered after being looted by foreign occupiers—French revolutionaries in 1794 and the Germans in 1944.

Leuven, St. Peter's Church, Brabant, Belgium

Leuven St. Peter's
Photo skeynetblog

Photo flickr

The first church on the site, made of wood and presumably founded in 986, burned down in 1176. It was replaced by a Romanesque church, made of stone, featuring a West End flanked by two round towers like at Our Lady's Basilica in Maastricht. Of the Romanesque building only part of the crypt remains underneath the chancel of the actual church.
Construction of the present Gothic edifice, significantly larger than its predecessor, was begun approximately in 1425, and was continued for more than half a century in a remarkably uniform style, replacing the older church progressively from east to west. In 1458, a fire struck the old Romanesque towers that still flanked the West End of the uncompleted building. This first plan for a new tower complex was never realized.
In 1505, Joost Matsys (brother of painter Quentin Matsys) conceived of an ambitious plan to erect three colossal towers of freestone surmounted by openwork spires. Insufficient ground stability and funds proved this plan impracticable, as the central tower reached less than a third of its intended height before the project was abandoned in 1541. After the height was further reduced by partial collapses from 1570 to 1604, the main tower now rises barely above the church roof as its sides are mere stubs.
The church suffered severe damage in both World Wars. In 1914 a fire caused the collapse of the roof and in 1944 an Allied bomb destroyed part of the northern side. The reconstructed roof was surmounted at the crossing by a flèche, which, unlike the 18th-century cupola that preceded it, blends stylistically with the rest of the church.

Dieric Bouts, Last Supper Triptych

Despite the devastation during the World Wars, the church remains rich in works of art, notably, two seminal paintings by Dieric Bouts, the Last Supper (1464-1468) and the Martyrdom of St Erasmus (1465).


Google-Earth markers for all Sites in the Netherlands
Amsterdam, Oude Kerk, Netherlands


Photo shutterijamsterdam

Oudekerk's wooden vaulting
Photo wikimedia

Amsterdam: Mod.Art Exhibition Jan Bogaerts
in the church!
Photo janbogaerts

Oude Kerk ("old church") is Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest parish church, founded 1213 and finally consecrated in 1306 by the bishop of Utrecht with Saint Nicolas as its patron saint. After the Reformation in 1578 it became a Calvinist church, which it remains today. It stands in De Wallen, now Amsterdam's main red-light district.

By around 1213, a wooden chapel had been erected at the location of today's Oude Kerk. Over time, this structure was replaced by a stone church that was consecrated in 1306. The church has seen a number of renovations performed by 15 generations of Amsterdam citizens. The church stood for only a half-century before the first alterations were made; the aisles were lengthened and wrapped around the choir in a half circle to support the structure. Not long after the turn of the 15th century, north and south transepts were added to the church creating a cross formation. Work on these renovations was completed in 1460.
Before the Reformation in Amsterdam of 1578, the Oude Kerk was Roman Catholic. Following William the Silent’s defeat of the Spanish in the Dutch Revolt, the church was taken over by the Calvinist Dutch Reformed Church. Throughout the 16th-century battles, the church was looted and defaced on numerous occasions, first in the Beeldenstorm of 1566, when a mob destroyed most of the church art and fittings, including the altarpiece by Jan van Scorel and Maarten van Heemskerck. Only the paintings on the ceiling, which were unreachable, were spared. The roof of the Oude Kerk is the largest medieval wooden vault in Europe. The Baltic planks date to 1390 and ptrovide some of the best acoustics in Europe.
Rembrandt was a frequent visitor to the Oude Kerk and his children were all christened there. In the Holy Sepulcher is a small Rembrandt exhibition, a shrine to his wife Saskia van Uylenburgh who was buried here in 1642.
The floor consists entirely of gravestones. The reason for this is that the church was built on a cemetery. Local citizens continued to be buried on the site within the confines of the church until 1865. There are 2500 graves in the Oude Kerk, among which are many notables.

Utrecht Cathedral St. Martin, Netherlands

Tower, West-Transept,
and Cloisters with Fountain
Photo panoramio

Transepts from the southwest
Photo wikimedia

The Choir
Photo flickr

St. Martin's Cathedral, Utrecht, or Dom Church (Domkerk) was the cathedral of the bishopric of Utrecht during the Middle Ages. Once the Netherlands’ largest church, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, it is one of the country's two pre-Reformation cathedrals, along with the cathedral in Middleburg, Province of Zeeland. It has been a Protestant church since 1580. The building is the one church in the Netherlands that closely resembles the classic Gothic style as developed in France. All other Gothic churches in the Netherlands belong to one of the many regional variants.
Bishop Hendrik van Vianen initiated the construction of the current Gothic structure in 1254. The construction of the Gothic Dom was to continue well into the 16th century. The first part to be built was the choir. The Dom Tower was started in 1321 and finished in 1382. After 1515, steadily diminishing financing prevented completion of this building project, of which an almost complete series of building accounts exists. In 1566, the Beeldenstorm or Iconoclast Fury swept across much of the Low Countries, justified by the Calvinist belief that statues in a house of God were idolatrous images which must be destroyed. As a result, many of the ornaments on both the exterior and interior of the Dom were lost.

Iconoclasts defaced altar
Photo badnewsaboutchristianity

1660 Church before Tornado
Photo wikipedia

August 1674
Photo hetutrechtsarchief

The still unfinished and insufficiently supported nave collapsed in 1674 during a massive regional storm that caused a tornado to develop in Utrecht. Over the subsequent centuries, much of the enormous building fell into further neglect. The pitiable state of the Dom led to some small restoration activities in the 19th century, followed by major renovations in the early 20th century with the aim of returning the Cathedral to its original state. However, the nave was never rebuilt.

What remains of St. Martin's today are the choir, the transept and the Dom Tower. The central nave of the cathedral which collapsed in the storm of 1674 is now a square with large trees, the Domplein. Stones in various colors indicate in the pavement the original outlines of the church.
In 2004, 750 years after construction began, the collapsed parts were temporarily rebuilt in scaffolding material. The scaffolding has since been taken down.

Leiden, Hooglandse Kerk, St. Pancras, Netherlands

Hooglandse Church
Photo wikipedia

Photo wikimedia

In 1314 the Bishop of Utrecht ordered the construction of a wooden chapel on the hill above the confluence of Shelde and Rhine. By 1377 the population and economic prosperity of Leiden called for a larger building, and construction began on the current church. Work started with the chancel (1391) and ambulatory (1415). The south transept (1436) and north transept (1448) follow. Between 1420 and 1436 the portals are established. The aisles are widened in 1456, and by 1500 the transept received its present form. (from the Dutch Wikipedia).

Delft, Nieuwe Kerk, St. Ursula, Netherlands

Grote Markt. Holland being flat church towers take on special importance
Photo evenmentenbrigade

The bare but carefully restored Interior
Photo oceansbridge

Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is a landmark Protestant church (14th cent) in Delft. The building is located on Delft Market Square (Markt), opposite to the City Hall. In 1584, William the Silent was entombed here in a mausoleum designed by Hendrick and Pieter de Keyser. Since then members of the House of Orange-Nassau have been entombed in the royal crypt. The latest are Queen Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard in 2004. The private royal family crypt is not open to the public. The church tower (1396-1496) is (only!) the second highest in the Netherlands, after the Domtoren in Utrecht.
No architectural information found.