HISTORY OF GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE
Cathedral, Laon No.1
: Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Laon; France, Laon; about 1160-1235
- Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Laon, 130km northwest from Paris, has one of the great early Gothic style as well as Notre-Dame at Paris.
- The cathdral of Notre-Dame was established in the end of fifth century but burned in 1112.
The reconstruction of the choir and transepts began about 1160 and completed in 1174. The reconstruction started again about 1180 and after 1205, the completion of the nave, the orginal choir was replaced by the greatly lengthened present-day choir in 1215.
The west facade was completed about 1220.
- The seven towers were pland originaly but only five towers were constructed.
- The west facade has deep sculpted windows and small arcade making use of thick wall and three deep porches.
Moreover, twin towers accentuated by deep apertures and the completely hollowed-out upper levels of the towers are composing peculiar solid facade.
Villard de Honnecourt, thirteenth century architect, marveled at these towers and draw them in 1230.
The buttresses divide vertically and then the center part rises up with the center porch, the rose window and small arcade dynamically.
- This west facade has influenced High Gothic and German cathedral.
- The twin towers seen from northeast.
Photo: Yasuhiko Nishigaki
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