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Gothic Arch

Medieval life and Times

Gothic Arch Definition
The definition of a Gothic arch is as follows: A Gothic arch is a curved structural device, usually of masonry, used to support a structure, as well as to enlarge an opening. The Gothic arch, whether semi-circular or lancet, is one the principal components of medieval Gothic architectural design.

The Gothic Arch
The Medieval Gothic Arch was a major feature of the architecture of the Middle Ages. The Gothic architects and builders discovered the amazing strength and stability which was created by using pointed arches. The walls of Gothic buildings, including castles, churches and cathedrals, could be thinner because the weight of the roof was supported by the Gothic arches rather than the walls. The use of the Gothic arch gave the builders tremendous flexibility. The Gothic arch could not only support greater weights but could also could span greater distances, allowing vaults to be taller and wider. Thinner walls had wider window openings which encouraged the use of stained glass and the magnificent Gothic Rose Windows.

Gothic Arch Styles or Types
The Gothic pointed arch styles included the following types:

  • Diagonal

  • Longitudinal
  • Transverse arch. A transverse arch was a supporting arch which ran across the vault from side to side, dividing the bays.
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