10 Best Gothic Cathedrals in Europe

Gothic architecture developed in France in 12th century, and then spread to all of the Western Europe to be the dominant style until the Renaissance in 16th century. Until then it was simply known as French architecture, but in the Renaissance time it got the name “Gothic” – since the style was, from the perspective of Renaissance art, considered barbarian, and the Goths were considered a barbarian nation. The cathedrals got the best of Gothic style, and the most beautiful ones are:

Reims  Cathedral FacadeFlickr /pov_steve

10 – Reims Cathedral was the place for official coronation for many French monarchs. It was finished by the end of 13th century, and the west front was added almost a century later.

St. Stephen's CathedralFlickr /Mr. Aktugan

9 – St Stephen’s Cathedral in the center of Vienna is a symbol of city’s freedom, because it has survived many wars. Its most famous characteristic is the diamond-patterned tile roof.

Seville CathedralFlickr /ecv5

8 – Seville Cathedral is one of three larges churches in the world. It was built in the 16th century to demonstrate the power and wealth of the city.

Burgos CathedralFlickr /Lawrence OP

7 – Burgos Cathedral has the most unique architecture. It is dedicated to Virgin Mary, and at the beginning of 20th century it became the burial place of “El Cid” and his wife.

York MinsterFlickr /JohnConnell

6 – York Minster was begun in 13th, and completed in 15th century. Its famous part is the “Great Eats Window”, the largest stained-glass window in the world.

Notre Dame de ParisFlickr /Amol Hatwar

5 – Notre Dame de Paris, used as site of the famous novel by Victor Hugo and later a place where Napoleon was crowned Emperor in 1804, was completed in mid 14th century, and is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

Firenze, Santa Maria del FioreFlickr /Andreas Jungherr

4 – Santa Maria del Fiore is one of Florence’s symbols. Its exterior is faced with marble panels in shades of green and pink color, which makes it one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.

Chartres CathedralFlickr /stevecadman

3 – Chartres Cathedral dominates the town of Chartres, France. It is almost perfectly preserved, with the stained-glass windows completely intact, and the architecture that has seen only minor changes.

Milan CathedralFlickr /kevinpoh

2 – Milan Cathedral is one of the most famous structures in Europe. This cathedral, with the style that is more French than Italian, took almost five centuries to complete.

Cologne CathedralFlickr /Dave-Gray

1 – Cologne Cathedral was once the tallest building in the world. Dedicated to St Peter and Mary, this cathedral took even longer than the previous one to complete – almost 600 years. Today it is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne.

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