Don't Be Fooled:
Most Gothic Cathedrals are Fake
All your life you've been
hearing about so-called Gothic Cathedrals and having people tell
you how great they are, but you're being swindled. None of those
cathedrals are really Gothic; they're all either Frankish,
Francien, or Anglo-Saxon. Real Gothic architecture can be seen in
Ravenna, where Theodoric King of the Ostrogoths (A.D. 474–526)
ruled the Ostrogoth kingdom which he founded in 493 A.D.
(Theodoric also had Boethius killed, and contributed indirectly to
the foundations of German opera via the epic Nibelungenlied,
in which he played a major role).
A Greek nationalist has brought it to my attention,
with amazing rudeness, that the architecture of the
Goths is not really unique and original, but is much
like Romanesque architecture, as found in the
Eastern Roman Empire. Well, duh. Methinks that my
Greek friend has failed to understand my premise here.
Here are two examples of true
BAPTISTERY OF THE ARIANS
mosaics from Ravenna
Alphabet, which is not at all like
Après moi, le
deluge points out that the best true-Gothic architecture is in
Spain. (In my earlier post I had been blinded by my Ostrogothic
prejudices). There's a tremendous amount of fascinating stuff on
Silmarillion's blog, which is mostly in Spanish.
"Characteristic of Visigothic architecture
in Christian Spain is the horseshoe arch, which became popular
during Arabic period. Giorgio Vassari was the author of the
"Gothic" classification. He compared medieval architecture with a
barbarian one and named it Gothic. It was know as "opus
francigenum" in middle ages and italians named it "tedesca" as it
entered Italy via Germany."
Gothic edifices are to be seen at San Juan
de Baños de Cerrato, Palencia; Quintanilla de las Viñas, Burgos;
Santa Maria de Melque, Toledo; Santa Comba de Bande, Ourense; and
Santa Lucia del Trampal, Alcuescar. Here is San Pedro de Nave, in
Church of San Julián de los Prados,
or Santullano, built between 812 and 842.
(Some deny that Asturian Art should be thought of as Gothic. We
report, you decide.)
A wonderful site on
Asturian Architecture -- many pages
More Asturian Architecture
Gothic Ruins, Mangup, the
The Goths in the Crimea
I am emersonj at gmail dot com.
Original materials copyright John J