A cathedral is a church which contains the seat (Latin : cathedra) of a bishop.  Some of the most awe-inspiring cathedrals are the medieval ones in all their gothic splendor.  Medieval cathedrals were the largest man made structures built after the Great Pyramids of Egypt.

These majestic buildings are testaments to the creativity and technical skill of master masons, carpenters and other craftsmen from long ago. Construction could be completed in less than 60 years or up to 250 years depending on the money available.

The details are exquisite - soaring ceilings, beautiful rose window, arches and stained glass windows. 

The featured designers today are artisans in their own right. They have managed to capture the essence of medieval cathedral architecture on a much smaller scale!

The beautiful gothic rose window pendant shown above is made with layered brass and sterling silver. 
The designer is Canadian Gracebourne who explained her design : 
The pattern on the top brass layer is based on a drawing of the rose window at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salinas, Ca. It's one of my favourite windows in existence, and it is paired with a raised impression of the rose window of the Rouen Cathedral in France.
Here is another wonderful medieval cathedral ring in sterling silver. The Australian designer is Claire Davidson of SkadiJewellery who is passionate about creating unique pieces. 

Californian artisan, Kerry McKee of JayaMoksha captures the beauty of rose windows for this fine pair of silver hoop earrings!

I love this pair of Vogue featured rose gold cathedral earrings which manages to capture medieval designs with a modern twist. The Canadian designer of InchooBijoux is Astrid who is based in Montreal, Quebec. 

The next two designs are by the Spanish atelier, manoastesana. Their gothic architecture window pendant captures the real ones so well. One distinctive feature of gothic cathedrals is the pointed arch.

This gothic arches pendant shows a series of arches. One could well imagine the silhouette of a medieval monk passing by each arch as he hurries to vespers!

Medieval Cathedrals

There were no architects or engineers back then - only master masons who designed and supervised the construction.  They left no plans. The sheer scale of construction of such a large building before the age of machinery is truly mind boggling. Much of the work was built on hard experience - cathedrals in progress did occasionally collapse. The higher they built with vaulted ceilings and wind-loading of roofs, the larger the lateral load stress on the walls, hence the introduction of flying buttresses to add strength.

Watch this fascinating BBC documentary : How to Build a Cathedral. The emphasis is on English cathedrals built after the Norman conquest in 1066. 

These early builders were ingenious.  

There were man-powered cranes to lift heavy loads high up including those which resemble hamster wheels, only larger! Tony Robinson, the host of BBC's Worst Jobs in History, describes these human treadmill laborers has having one of the worst jobs in medieval times.  Blind workers were chosen so they would not suffer from vertigo being so high up!

Before You Go :


This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM