Magdeburg Cathedral

It has always amazed me texts on the history of art in the spirit of “… this is a beautiful example of Romanesque/Gothic/romantic style reflected itself on trends/the passion of the past/impact of the West …”, from which you can understand only that this pattern – what a beautiful Cathedral/castle/Palace. So when I was lucky enough to be in the Magdeburg Cathedral, which is really only what I have displayed over 300 years of construction, really wanted to fix the process in stages, so that it is clear exactly how the design evolved. The result I offer.

Magdeburg Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Catherine and of Saint Mauritius) – the oldest Gothic Cathedral in Germany. Its construction began in 1209, after a fire destroyed the previous Romanesque Cathedral that stood on this place. The building was constructed over 300 years and reflected on all the twists and turns of development of the Gothic style on German soil.

The layout of the Magdeburg Cathedral.

The customer of the new building was Archbishop Albrecht 2, highly educated people, who studied in Paris and at the time potdelki to Italy and France. Apparently, impressed by what he saw in France, where Gothic then Bulatova the most advanced achievement of modern architecture, and he liked the idea of it is built in a Gothic Cathedral. The historical value of the old building 2 Albrecht strongly rejected and, despite strong public opposition, has made to the new Cathedral erected on the site of the old, but from another angle, from which it became impossible to reuse the old foundations and walls resting on it.

Construction work began with the restoration of deambulatory and the crown of chapels (see diagram).

Universal Catholic Church from Wikipedia.

And here is the problem. For all its erudition architect Albrecht 2 was not, therefore, have a General idea about how should look like a Gothic Cathedral, he couldn’t exactly explain it to the builders. Moreover, it can be assumed that architects and builders involved in the reconstruction were not sufficiently qualified to translate a customer’s vision. Therefore, neither the General structure nor the individual forms of these parts of the buildings in Magdeburg have not been brought into line with the new Gothic principles.

Look what they concocted:

Deambulatory. I especially like the strange thing on the vault right under the arch. This is their Capstone(Capstone is a required element of any arch, but to do it in the form of three-dimensional “plug” of steel during the Gothic).

But we must pay tribute to the masters. With each new set they turned out all Gothic and Gothic.

The Gothic lightness, however, was still far away.

Powerful, true, broken, arch.

maintained no less powerful, but collected in a “beam” columns.

For comparison, again, a fragment of the interior of Amiens Cathedral, one of the “exemplary” works of the Gothic.

The chapel in style and spirit consistent with deambulatorio.

One of the chapels of the Cathedral of Magdeburg. Please note that the Windows in the arches are not centered.

And in the middle of the “Capstone”, as without it 🙂 by the Way, from the point of view of Wikipedia, “hanging” keystones started to do only in the era of mannerism. But no – here he is when was creative.

For comparison, the embodiment of the same idea in Rouen Cathedral (not quite “Obraztsova” due to numerous reconstructions, but also quite a Gothic Cathedral).

The vault of the choir, the construction of which belongs to the same primary period of construction, also down romance: this is a typical Roman arch, used throughout Europe, from Spain to Ancient Russia, decorated with Gothic ribs and keystone.

The vault of the choir of Magdeburg Cathedral.

and for comparison:

The Romanesque arch of St. Sophia of Constantinople.

The vault of the Gothic Amiens Cathedral.

Source: Wikipedia

Attracts attention and absence of characteristic Gothic exterior propping up polaron – the flying buttresses, characteristic of French cathedrals of that time. Instead, Windows are located between vertical supports – buttresses which spread in Romanesque architecture.

The Magdeburg Cathedral. View from the apse.

Reims Cathedral (another “exemplary” Gothic Church). View from the apse.

Chimeras in the Magdeburg Cathedral is already in place. Do not be surprised, however, if it was some type of restorer-romantic 19th century planted them here. But accurate information on this issue, alas not found.

Only at the second stage of construction works, which lasted from 1235 1260 year already under the supervision of Archbishop Wilbrand, the building has become a truly Gothic features. To this period belongs the construction of the gallery of the choir (the so-called Bishop’s walk). This part of the Cathedral with a columned supporting pillars and ribbed (rib – Gothic “edge”) the arches were built with the participation of malbranche shop masons – one of the most progressive “construction companies” of their time, who knew how to handle Gothic.

The gallery choir is the “second floor”, located on deambulatorio (see diagram at the beginning of the post).

This is already quite late, stages of construction were demolished to support the walls, which have begun to be installed in the inner part of the choir. The fact that plans changed and it was decided to move the columns from the old building of the Cathedral. These were the ancient columns brought here from Italy, to elevate the interior of the Cathedral, Emperor Otto 1, wherein in 968, was founded archiepiscopal diocese of Magdeburg. Reuse of these columns in a Gothic Cathedral was an eloquent allusion to the tradition of the diocese, which is reminiscent of its founder and the first building of the Cathedral.

Ancient columns in the Cathedral of Magdeburg.

The construction of the Cathedral was halted in 1274, resumed for a while in the middle of the 14th century, then again stopped and only in 1477 the construction of the Cathedral began in full force.

The nave of the Cathedral is very late Gothic. But everything is “as it should” – with large, bright Windows.

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