Left: Saint-Sernin, Toulouse Right: Amiens Cathedral The heavy ribbed vault of the Romanesque building are made possible by thick walls, heavy cruciform piers, and few windows. Ribbed vaults are structurally more efficient than a barrel vault that evenly distributes the weight and thrust along the wall. A ribbed vault directs thrust to specific points in the masonry--where the ribs meet the wall at the clerestory level. These in turn are supported by the use of flying buttresses visible on the outside of the building.
SAINTE CHAPELLE, Paris, 1243-8 Built by King Louis IX to house the Crown of Thorns and fragment of the True Cross he had bought from the Byzantine Emperor. An example of the Rayonnant or Court Style of French Gothic architecture.
Milan Cathedral (white marble, over a brick core. One of the largest cathedrals in the world 14,000 sq yards it was designed to accommodate 40,000 people. The forest of pinnacles, the tracery panels, and the rich embellishment with statuary identifies it as Late Gothic.)
MILAN CATHEDREAL ( Duomo) 1380-1900s? Italy's largest and most intricate example of Gothic architecture. (In the 1650's work was begun on the western facade but it was not completed until the 19th century. This facade is more classical in detail than Gothic.) Milan Cathedral, Italy 1380-