The pearl of European Gothic

The idea of a unified architectural plan, which built all the Gothic churches, raised for the first time, it seems, by Victor Hugo in “Notre Dame de Paris”, right, not demanded from its author’s great analytical depth. This idea lies on the surface, obvious to anyone who visited a number of iconic buildings of Gothic architecture. Nevertheless, the impression on “all ye who enter here incoming” all of them are different, and some do not produce any. All of the people, the skeletons of which are also virtually indistinguishable from each other.

On what basis is the Prague St. Vitus Cathedral is considered one of the greatest Gothic churches in the world? For its size it will not, perhaps, in the list of the first fifty of them. Its interior decoration and especially the stained glass Windows really make a strong impression, but also their unique, after all, difficult to call. In particular, the stained glass chapel of Saint-Chapelle in Paris, at least, not worse. Then what? This question must, apparently, to meet the professionals – architects or art historians, the majority of the “uninitiated” so, the only conclusion ultra-high concentration in this structure, the basic concept of Gothic architecture: “awesome greatness”.

Athe most famous researchers of Gothic architecture P. Frankl wrote: “Gothic forms symbolize the disappearance of boundaries between Man and God”. You could argue with this statement – at the entrance to the St. Vitus Cathedral experience any feeling between fear and humility – and the last thing I think about this “democracy”. And the eternal question of Russian literature: “am I a trembling creature or have the right?” under this arch loses all meaning – too obvious answer.

The Cathedral was built intermittently for nearly 600 years, from 1344 to 1929 (like “unfinished”, by the way, was characteristic for the construction of many Catholic and, in particular Gothic churches – it is unlikely such coincidences are random). On the project (more projects) worked about a dozen architects. Some of them brought him the traits of successive during these years, architectural styles, particularly Baroque and Renaissance, other then removed these elements, returning the building’s original Gothic forms.

Work on the Cathedral has become the fate of a young architect Peter Parler, who led the project at the age of 23 and devoted his whole life (he died in 1397, the year at the age of 68 years). He, in particular, belongs the authorship of the design of the arch of the nave with diagonal beams, which until then was never used. Finally, in the 20-ies of the last century, the construction was completed-painted stained glass Windows made by outstanding artists Alfons Mucha and františek Ciceley.

Today, two 82-meter-high spire of the Western facade with its characteristic round window-Rosetta between them became a kind of symbol of St. Vitus Cathedral and one of the symbols of Prague. Despite the dense building of the Prague Castle around them, the towers are visible from almost any area of the city and serve as a “point of attraction” for tourists from all over the world, like the Eiffel tower in Paris for the Soviet people, when, in order to see bagsinstead was to be ready to die. Today, such sacrifices are not required tours to Prague from St. Petersburg are held each week.

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