The popular image of the traditional western city has usually been dominated by the cathedral, whose sheer size seemed to create an isolated physical and spiritual focal point. In this iconoclastic study, the author sets out to reverse some of the romantic myths which have accrued about the medieval cathedral, in particular that the cathedral was a separate entity, self-sufficient, sublime and apart. Here the cathedral is shown to be a dynamic, evolving and unpredictable force in the development of the medieval city. Taking France as the main focus, but including material on England, Germany, Italy, Spain and Bohemia, the author describes the growth of diocesan authority and the consequent experiments in the layout of cathedral plans. Full use is made of recent archaeological research to show how architectural, social, financial and religious considerations combined to form a structure that was above all a practical, functioning concern, a 'city within a city'.Read more
- A radical new interpretation of the significance of the structure and layout of the medieval cathedral
- Illustrated by many plans and engravings, which provide new insights into the intentions of the clergy and their architects
- A further volume in the attractive newly established 'History of Architecture' series
Reviews & endorsements
'Nobody, after reading this book, will be able to look at cathedrals in the same way. Erlande-Brandenburg compellingly draws back an opaque Romantic veil and makes an inaccessible world live for a post-Christian age.' Anthony Symondson, The Architectural Review
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- Date Published: May 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521110372
- length: 404 pages
- dimensions: 246 x 189 x 21 mm
- weight: 0.72kg
- contains: 161 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: myth or reality
1. The bishop in the city
2. The Imperial dream
3. The Gregorian reform
4. Gothic construction
5. Men, finance, and administration
6. The churches in the cathedral
7. The Gothic palace
8. The canonial precinct
9. The hotel-dieu.
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