Gothic cathedrals
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The architectural styles of the ancient world
The first samples of what can be called architecture . date back to the early days of ancient civilizations in the middle East 3000 - 1200 BC; when they were…

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The architectural styles of the ancient world

The first samples of what can be called architecture . date back to the early days of ancient civilizations in the middle East 3000 – 1200 BC; when they were built fortified cities with ziggurats (high towers, crowned with temples) – an idea which was continued by the ancient Egyptians in the pyramids, graves with tombstones and temples. But the ancient Greeks turned architecture into an art form: their legacy are the principles of proportions, shapes and patterns (later developed and expanded by the Romans) – has influenced all of Western architecture. Greek and Roman architecture had countless ideas architectural styles of buildings and interiors around the world. Greek classicism was revived in various forms, while the innovation of the Romans – arch – made possible the creation of the Gothic style which is most completely expressed in numerous cathedrals in Europe.

The classical tradition

The significance of ancient Greek classic architecture, which flourished in the middle of the fifth century BC. is not the diversity or complexity of forms, but in its simplicity: the design of columns as vertical supports to beams or blocks of stone, in particular marble. Greeks to ameliorating that beauty can be achieved by careful observance of the purity of its lines and proportions. They also showed that the building can be more than just a shelter, a place of worship or trade, and something more- harmonious work of art. The most important structures of the ancient Greeks, such as temples and theatres, always tied to the landscape, was an integral part of the planning and development of the city and was located in the free space. The most famous example is the Acropolis of Athens and its main temple, the Parthenon.

The Romans (500 BCE – 300 C. C.), assuming the Greek architectural tradition, was first used by brick and cement and has created new architectural elements, such as dome, arch, arch, which allowed to erect buildings four or five floors, while the Greeks usually built one – or two-storey buildings and colors, lit with natural light through the layer. The result was impressive: the architectural masterpieces such as the Coliseum and Pantheon in Rome or the aqueducts, one of which was found in the French city of Nimes, shocking for its size. Classic style under Roman influence became more ornate and luxuriant, that had an impact on the future revival of classical traditions and forms in architecture.

Classicism in the Renaissance

Classical forms in the architecture were forgotten during the middle ages, rediscovered in the Renaissance and flourished in sixteenth century Italy, whence it spread throughout Europe. The Roman version of classical orders (regularity in the proportions, the finish of the columns and beams of buildings) was adopted as the basis for the design.

The subsequent appeal to the Greek classics, which left without changes the basic canons of this style occurred in the late eighteenth century, while in the nineteenth century, the architect freely turned to classical sources and experimented with the proportions and details.

Gothic style

Gothic architecture experienced a period of prosperity in Europe from the late twelfth to mid sixteenth century. Better arches, buttresses, pointed arches allowed to unload the walls and increase the height of the building. The most magnificent display of Gothic architecture – cathedrals scattered throughout Europe, which is a striking example of how architecture can Express the spiritual longings of humanity. The Gothic style originated in France in the Abbey of Saint-Denis near Paris, followed by Notre Dame. Cathedrals in Reims (1211) and Chartres (1260) become vertices of Gothic architecture. And now, many centuries later, these buildings capture the imagination scale soaring space.

Gothic buildings, built mainly of stone of various textures and colors, lit with natural light through the tiers of Windows. The play of light and shadow framed by ogival arches was an important element of the interior, and finish arches of stone flowing lace became more ornamental.