A history of the Gothic period of Art and Architecture
Essay specific features
March 28, 2014
No of pages / words:
8 / 2028
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The round arches of the barrel vault were replaced by pointed Gothic arches, which distributed thrust in more directions downward from the topmost point of the arch.
Since the combination of ribs and piers relieved the intervening vertical wall spaces of their supportive function, these walls could be built thinner and could even be opened up with large windows or other glazing...
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A crucial point was that the outward thrust of the ribbed ceiling vaults was carried across the outside walls of the nave, first to an attached outer buttress and then to a freestanding pier by means of a half arch known as a flying buttress. The flying buttress leaned against the upper exterior of the nave, crossed over the low side aisles of the nave, and terminated in the freestanding buttress pier, which ultimately absorbed the ceiling vault's thrust...
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