Graphical Construction Glossary >> masonry. >> stonework >> Medieval Masonry
The middle ages spans a period of time that in my opinion cumulated in the ultimate expression of the stone mason's art. The Northern European Gothic Cathedral.
Medieval is a term that refers to Europe in the period of the middle ages.
While there are many examples of wonderful buildings constructed outside of Europe at that time they are not generally referred to as medieval.
The tallest stone spire in Europe graces Salisbury Cathedral. The whole building was completed in a relatively short space of time and so it has a unified appearance unlike many other medieval cathedrals which took hundreds of years to complete.
It would be impossible to calculate the cost of the work shown on this page, but it was extremely expensive by any measure and only the very rich could contemplate it. The Church obviously fell into the wealthy class and for the most part religion was driving force behind the leaps in construction technology in the medieval period.
Apart from the Church of course the other people wealthy enough to build in stone and also not only build but go to extravagant lengths to show of their power and wealth were the rulers of the various countries. The building above was built as a palace for the doges of Venice. A powerful and rich city state in Northern Italy. The palace dates from the 14th century and is in the gothic style but it suffered damage and was partly rebuilt in the 17th century.
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral) has a medieval masonry body, but the builders rejected the lofty gothic spires and flying buttresses or Northern Europe and when they finally got around to it Filippo Brunelleschi designed and built this magnificent dome, (finished in 1436), to usher in the new age, the Renaissance. The old medieval masonry structure received a facade in the 19th Gothic Revival style that we see today.
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"What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900
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