Tamara Owens
Janet Blankenship
Jennifer Scott

Late Gothic Architecture

The Chronicles of France Dagobert's Throne

Our Web Page is going to consist of examples of Late Gothic Architecture. Included are: several catherdrals, works of art found in cathedrals, and illustrations, as well as findings of a peasant village. Descriptions and comments of each of these illustrations and images are included in this Web Page.
Late Gothic French architecture is eventually replaced by glamorous decorating. The early ideals of purity and structure in the desgin has been taken over by elaborate carving and glimmering textures. The works with these extravagant characteristics were made during the early sixteenth century. The graphics below show good examples of the kind of work done during this early time period. It includes multi-ribbed vaults and fine vertical moldings. The choir screen has been intricately carved. Several different decorative patterns have been included in the carvings. Complex curves are another style used in late Gothic times.

Nave and Choir Screen

This graphic below represents the new stage in Gothic style. It was done by one of the best architects of the Middle Ages. Tracery rods placed approximately two feet in front of the facade gives it a high degree of linear intricacy. Creating a sense of brightness along with a vertical lift.


In the nave of Lorenzkirche Nuremberg the basic Gothic designs are very apparent. The clerestory windows are considerably tiny. The wall surfaces are still in tact. The triforium level is replaced by a huge plain wall. A completely different style is portrayed through the choir which was in fact added at a much later time than the rest.

Nave of Lorenzkirche Nuremberg

The Cologne Cathedrel represents the French high Gothic style during the thirteenth century. It is approximately the same height as Amiens, although the Cologne is more vertical proportionally and in fine detail. The choir was considered finished in 1322, but the nave was not constructed until the nineteenth century.

Nave of Cologne Cathedral

The Regensburg Cathedral was also built in French style. It shows characteristic styles of the late thirteenth century. The columns have become a mass of shafts without a defined center core which is typical of the French style. The capitals don't hardly arrest the vertical activity of the shafts. Some shafts are moving from floor to vault. The triforium and clerestory has been set back and joined as one in design. These two parts joined have given the elevation a two- instead of a three-story appearance. The glass on all three levels in the choir gives off a rich sparkling light toward the altar end of the church.

Nave of Regensburg Cathedral

There were some very unique works of art found in the Strasbourg Catherdral. One of which was a figure, Synagogue. Synagogue was a dazzling young woman. She was holdingthe tablets of the Old Law as well as a broken staff with a dropping flag. The flag was a symbol of her defeat. She had blind-folded eyes because she could not see truth. These type of statues were used to present dogma to the illiterate worshipers. They were also used as a theme, treated by medievel sculptors, of the rise of Christianity over Judaism. The synagogue below is a replica of the original one.


Death of the Virgin was another interesting work of art found in the Strasbourg Cathedral. This beautiful tympanum conveys a message of the Death of the Virgin. It relates the story to us using a very simple and affecting technique. Unlike earlier figures, these are more rounded and are not attached to the wall. They are presented to look like they are standing in a shallow stage space. They appear to also have attitudes and facial expressions. The lyric scene is revealed by the rhythms of drapery rippling through the entire field.

Death of the Virgin

The drawing below was one of the Sorrell charcoal drawings done in the 1970's. It centers on the St. Martin's church. Peasant houses can be seen at the front of the village north of the church and along the western edge of the valley.

Medieval Village

A typical peasant house of the 13th century was about 15 feet wide and possibly twice the length; houses of the 14th century were about 20 feet wide and 80 feet in length. The longer houses had a barn attached for either the purpose of animals or storage. The central room of the house was typically all open. There was normally an open fire pit with a smokehole in the roof. The room furthest from the barn was used for resting. Below outlined in stone are the various peasant house foundation lines dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The longest foundations-on the right and in the center-are 15th century. The smaller ones-on the left and in the foreground are 14th century. The 13th century house had wooden footings (no stone foundations) therefore, leaving traces behind.


The walls of peasant houses were usually a mixture of mud and straw. The other type of wall covering was called "cob." It was three parts chalk and one part clay mixed with straw. The wall acted as a frame with small vertical posts woven with smaller, flexible sticks. The mixture of mud and straw was plastered on the woven frame, inside and out. Below is a picture of a peasant house.

Peasant House

The objects found at Wharram Percy were used by peasants. By finding these objects connections were made through people and their medieval predecessors. There were no swords found or Viking coin hoards. What was found in higher quantity were iron objects, stone and bone objects, some copper objects, and some lead objects. Knives and coins have also been found. Below are some of the findings.

Miscellaneous Small Finds Copper-Alloy Objects

Iron Objects Lead-Alloy Objects

Late Gothic Architecture consists of many different styles of art. The cathedrals consist of French and German influences. Due to the findings and layouts we can understand how a peasant village was occupied and what took place in several of its buildings. For more information see the Bibliography.


Chronicles of France - http://lcweb.loc.gov/exhibits/bnf/bnf029.jpg
Cologne Cathedral - http://www.tulane.edu/lester/text/Gothic/Late.Gothic/Late.Gothic6.html
Dagoberts Throne - http://lcweb.loc.gov/exhibits/bnf/bnf005.jpg
Death of the Virgin - http://www.tulane.edu/lester/text/Gothic/Late.Gothic/Late.Gothic1.html
Facade - http://www.tulane.edu/lester/text/Gothic/Late.Gothic/Late.Gothic2.html
Finds - http://loki.Stockton.edu/~Ken/Wharram/finds.htm
Housesite - http://loki.Stockton.edu/~Ken/Wharram/site10.htm
Nave of Lorenzkirche Nuremberg - http://www.tulane.edu/lester/text/Gothic/Late.Gothic/Late.Gothic10.html
Medieval Village - http://loki.Stockton.edu/~Ken/Wharram/slide2.htm
Peasant House - http://loki.Stockton.edu/~Ken/Wharram/peasant.htm
Nave of Regensburg Cathedral - http://www.tulane.edu/lester/text/Gothic/Late.Gothic/Late.Gothic7.html
Synagogue - http://www.tulane.edu/lester/text/Gothic/Late.Gothic/Late.Gothic3.html

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