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7 Pages

Transposing the Forest: Gothic Cathedrals in Northern France

Gothic Cathedrals, Northern France, 12th–16th centuries
ByJana Vandergoot

Historical studies of the architecture of Gothic cathedrals suggest that the engineering, management of material, and prevailing forms were derived from earlier Moorish, Romanesque, Greek, and Roman construction. This essay considers that many of the forms developed in Gothic cathedrals may have originated from earlier wood construction and were an imitation of forest forms of the forest. Furthermore, the loss of forest to the spread of agriculture, and population shifts from the forest to the city, may have ignited the longing to bring the forest into the city in the development of its architecture.