DANIEL ED – CATHEDRALS : MEDIEVAL RESEARCH ASSIGNMENTPosted: June 11, 2012
QUESTION 1 – Why did Medieval people build these fantastic structures?
Medieval people or people from the Middle Ages did not build the cathedrals just for religious gatherings and church services, they were also built for other purposes and uses such as a town hall or a gathering place if a noble wanted to say something or if the people wanted to get out of the cold. The cathedrals were built as headquarters for the bishop. Cathedrals were no easy task to build, they often took centuries to build. Cathedrals also show and display the great craftsmanship of the builders and crafters.
QUESTION 2 – What purpose did the cathedrals serve?
Cathedrals played a major part and purpose in the lives of Christians. Cathedrals were where people who had accepted God would go and pray, and also where they took the communion. Communion is an act of when you have bread and wine which represents the body and blood of Christ. This act is meant to show what God has done for us on the cross. People also went to cathedrals to get married, baptized or even to attend funerals. Even though most people think this, cathedrals were not only for religious gatherings and ceremonies. Cathedrals were also used for a meeting place when bishops, lords or kings had something important to say. The reason for this is because the cathedral was the biggest meeting place in town that was indoors and where people could keep out the cold.
QUESTION 3 – How was the cathedral constructed?
Cathedrals were no easy task to build. They took centuries to build and the supplies were expensive. Back in the Middle Ages, cathedrals were mainly made up of limestone. To join these limestones, the people would use a binder which is called mortar. This mortar is much like cement, which when it goes solid, it permanently holds the bricks together. To help aid the support of the construction site, medieval people invented the flying buttress. The purpose of the flying buttress was to help support the construction site from the outside. If there was no flying buttress, the walls would begin to lean outwards and the pressure from the cathedral would make it collapse on itself over time.
QUESTION 4 – How did cathedral designs change over time during the Middle Ages?
In the Middle Ages or Medieval times, cathedral designs changed over time. The first cathedrals were based on the looks of the old Roman basilica. The first churches looked like these basilicas. Because the churches were built in the style of the old Roman basilica, over time cathedrals were built in the Romanesque style, only those cathedrals were a lot bigger than the churches. At around 1100 AD, medieval people started to build their cathedrals in a different style. This style was the Gothic cathedral. The people started to build in Gothic style because the Romanesque style cost so much to build because of the high need of stone blocks. The main difference between Romanesque and Gothic styles was the arches on the cathedrals. Romanesque had a round arch, while Gothic had a pointed arch.
QUESTION 5 – What was the difference between a church and a cathedral?
In the Medieval Times the people had churches and cathedrals. The main difference is that a church could only be called a cathedral if the bishop had his headquarters at the church. It doesn’t matter on the size of the church it only matters if the bishops quarters are held in the church. Examples of this is the Cathedral of Laon in Northern France lost its bishop as the number of people who lived in the town decreased. So the cathedral lost its title and from then on it was called a church. And an example of it doesn’t matter on the size, the church of Toulouse, even though it is a massive and wonderful church it was never titled cathedral.