15 Beautiful Gothic Cathedrals Architecture from around the World (2024)

Photo by Thomas Wolf. Wikimedia Commons.

Gothic architecture is an architectural style that was prevalent in Europe from the late 12th to the 16th century. It also survived during the middle ages, surviving into the 17th and 18th centuries in some areas.

Gothic architecture is an architectural style that evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Gothic cathedrals were the visual representation of God’s kingdom. They provided spiritual education to the illiterate masses. They also functioned as the hub of town commerce. Listed below are 15 Beautiful Gothic Cathedrals Architecture from around the World.

1. Milan Cathedral

Photo by Simon Infanger. Unsplash.

Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. It is dedicated to the Nativity of St Mary. Milan Cathedral’s construction began in 1386 and was finally completed in 1965. It is the largest church in the Italian Republic and possibly the second largest in Europe and the third largest in the world.

The roof of the cathedral has pinnacles and spires that are set upon flying buttresses. The original plan for a Gothic cathedral with a cruciform nave and transept in Milan was commissioned by Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo in 1386. Its construction paved the way for the introduction of High Gothic into mainland Italy from across the Alps and northern Europe.

Location: Milan

2. Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, is an Anglican cathedral in the city of Ely, Cambridgeshire, England. The cathedral stands out for its architectural scale and stylistic details.

While it was built using the Romanesque style, the galilee porch, lady chapel and choir were rebuilt using the magnificent gothic style. Ely Cathedral is a major tourist destination. It hosts around 250,000 visitors per year and sustains a daily routine of morning and evening services.

Location: England

3. Chatres Cathedral

Photo by Anthony Delanoix. Unsplash.

Chartres Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres is a Roman Catholic church in Chartres, France. It is the seat of the Bishop of Chartres. Constructed between 1194 and 1220, the cathedral stands on the site where at least five cathedrals that have occupied since the Diocese of Chartres was formed in the 4th century.

The cathedral was constructed utilizing the High Gothic and Romanesque styles, with a Flamboyant north spire. It was in fact designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979 which described it as “the high point of French Gothic art” and a “masterpiece”.

Location: France

4. Notre-Dame de Reims

Known in English as Reims Cathedral, Notre-Dame de Reims, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the French city. It is the main sit of the Archdiocese of Reims. The cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was the traditional location for the coronation of the kings of France.

The cathedral is a prominent example of High Gothic architecture. It was built to replace an earlier church destroyed by fire in 1210. The cathedral, a major tourist destination, receives about one million visitors annually. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.

Location: France

5. St. Mary’s Cathedral

Photo by Anthony Fomin. Unsplash.

The Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Mother of God, is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. It is also the seat of the Archbishop of Sydney.

The cathedral was designed by William Wardell and built from 1866 to 1928. The architecture is typical of the Gothic Revival of the 19th century, inspired by the journals of the Cambridge Camden Society, the writings of John Ruskin and the architecture of Augustus Welby Pugin.

Location: Sydney

6. Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. Canterbury Cathedral has been designated as part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077. The east end was enlarged massively at the beginning of the 12th century. It was rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174.

Location: England

7. St. Vitas Cathedral

Photo by Vivek Trivedi. Unsplash.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert is a Roman Catholic metropolitan cathedral in Prague. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. Until 1997, the cathedral was dedicated only to Saint Vitus, and is still commonly named only as St. Vitus Cathedral.

This cathedral is a prominent example of Gothic architecture. It is the largest and most important church in the country. It is located within Prague Castle and contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors. The cathedral is owned by the Czech government as part of the Prague Castle complex. Construction of the present-day Gothic cathedral began on 21 November 1344.

Location: Czech Republic

8. Seville Cathedral

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, commonly known as Seville Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Seville, Andalusia, Spain. It was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

It is the fourth-largest church in the world and the largest Gothic church. Seville Cathedral was built to demonstrate the city’s wealth. The city had become a major trading center in the years after the Reconquista in 1248.

Location: Spain

9. Cologne Cathedral

Photo by Marie Michele. Unsplash.

Cologne Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. It also houses the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne.

Cologne Cathedral is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture. It was for these reasons declared a World Heritage Site in 1996. Cologne Cathedral is Germany’s most visited landmark. It attracts an average of 20,000 people a day. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires. The tower’s two huge spires give the cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world.

Location: Germany

10. St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. The current Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV (1339–1365).

St. Stephen’s Cathedral stands on the ruins of two earlier churches. In 1304, King Albert I ordered a Gothic three-nave choir to be constructed east of the church.

Location: Austria

11. Orvieto Cathedral

Photo by Gary Butterfield. Unsplash.

Orvieto Cathedral is a large 14th-century Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is located in the town of Orvieto in Umbria, central Italy. Since 1986, the cathedral in Orvieto has been the episcopal seat of the former Diocese of Todi as well.

The building was constructed under the orders of Pope Urban IV. Its purpose was to commemorate and provide a suitable home for the Corporal of Bolsena, the relic of miracle which is said to have occurred in 1263. The construction of the cathedral lasted almost three centuries with the design and style evolving from Romanesque to Gothic as construction progressed.

Location: Italy

12. Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The cathedral was constructed from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. The bulk of the work was done in the fourteenth century.

In the late nineteenth century, the neo-Gothic façade was constructed over the nondescript exterior that was common to Catalan churches. The cathedral has been updated in response to the increasing number of tourists who visit it.

Location: Spain

13. Florence Cathedral

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge. Unsplash.

The construction of the Cathedral of Florence was begun in 1296. It was done in the Gothic style to a design made by Arnolfo di Cambio. It was structurally completed by 1436, with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi.

The exterior of the basilica made of marble panels in various shades of green and pink, bordered by white. It has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. It’s part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic center of Florence. It remains a major tourist attraction of Tuscany.

Location: Florence

14. Bamberg Cathedral

Bamberg Cathedral is a church in Bamberg, Germany. Its construction was completed in the 13th century. The cathedral is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bamberg.

Since 1993, the cathedral has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Town of Bamberg”. Due to its long construction process, several styles were used in different parts of the cathedral, particularly the Romanesque and Gothic ones.

Location: Germany

15. Saint Bavo’s Cathedral

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge. Unsplash.

Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, also known as Sint-Baafs Cathedral is a cathedral of the Catholic Church in Ghent, Belgium. The 89-meter-tall Gothic building is the seat of the Diocese of Ghent.

The church is named for Saint Bavo of Ghent. It contains the well-known Ghent Altarpiece. Construction of the Gothic church began around 1274. In the period around the 14th through to the 16th centuries, nearly continuous expansion projects in the Gothic style were executed on the structure.

Location: Belgium

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15 Beautiful Gothic Cathedrals Architecture from around the World (2024)


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