Bourges Cathedral

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Bourges, Centre (central region), France; from 1200

A large Romanesque church such as Durham Cathedral (pages 126–27) is impressive because of the solidity of its masonry. During the twelfth century in France a new aesthetic developed, which impressed by making the masonry seem almost immaterial. This new style, which came to predominate in northern Europe until the beginning of the sixteenth century, is now called ‘Gothic’ – a term that was not used before the seventeenth century, and from then until the nineteenth century was used indiscriminately to mean anything not particularly classical in style.

The Goths were a Germanic ...

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