1) and light structures. But in any

1)  Why
was there an explosion of cathedral building in Europe during the High Middle


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to all these technical developments developed during the Gothic period, the
master builders were able to build more slender, tall and light structures. But
in any case, the vaults exert a series of transversal thrusts that cannot
contain excessively high pillars, so that it was necessary to find a
constructive solution that would unload these pushes towards the outside. This
solution is the system of flying buttress and abutment, equivalent to the old
abutments attached to the wall, which should have reached gigantic proportions
to withstand the new lateral efforts. The new architecture evolved rapidly in
the Île-de-France. The origin is located in the Abbey of Saint Denis
(1140-1144), pantheon of the kings of France located near Paris. The bishops of
the most prosperous cities, competing for the skill of their artisans and
architects, set out on the career of the construction of cathedrals, rivaling
in splendor and prestige. The best examples are concentrated in this area of
??France around Paris, and among them stand out, with their starting dates:
Laón (1160), Paris (1163), Chartres (1194), Bourges (1195), Reims (1211) ,
Amiens (1220) and Beauvais (1225).

the best Gothic architecture was religious, magnificent civil and military
buildings were also built. One of the most impressive is the Krak of the
Knights (1131) in Jordan, a fortress built by the Order of the Knights
Hospitallers at the time of the Crusades. Military architecture was a defensive
response against advances in military technology; in any case, one of the most
important strategies was still to resist a siege.

historical period coincides with a spectacular boom in the urban population due
to technological development and the concentration of power around the nobility
and royalty, as well as the emergence of new social classes grouped around the
guilds of artisans and craftsmen. of an incipient bourgeoisie of new trades
such as bankers and merchants. The cities grew without the theoretical planning
of the Roman era or the later Renaissance. In northern Europe, where wood was
easily obtained until the Industrial Revolution, cities were built with this
material that allowed low costs and speed of execution. These builders
transmitted to Christian architecture all the Arab wisdom in the construction
of brick, with all its variety of arches and the characteristic rigging used to
compose ornamental walls.


2)  Explain
why Thomas Aquinas is considered as the most important figure of his age.


belonged to the so-called Order of Preachers, popularly known as the Dominican
Order, and is recognized worldwide for having been the maximum reference of
scholasticism, which is the theological and philosophical current that has used
Greek philosophy to understand and interpret the revelation of God.

his most popular work has been the Summa Theologica, which consists of a
treatise that Aquino wrote in the last years of its existence and immediately
became known, on the one hand, the most important document of medieval religion
and on the other hand in an ABC of the Christian religion according to the
optics of scholasticism. Another fundamental feature was the development of an
arduous and very prosperous method of intellectual work, with the Bible being
the main source of knowledge.

while taking the texts of the Bible as an absolute authority also encouraged
speculation and reasoning because a strict armed did not allow in any way
plasticity when it was necessary to refute them with a solid and broad defense
and remain exposed to refutations. And precisely Aquino considered that not
only it was enough to consider sacred texts such as the Bible, but it was also
necessary and necessary to take a look at history, science, ethics and

the other hand, and as a pioneer and promoter of scholasticism, he was a great
scholar of the work of the Greek philosopher Aristotle and even played by
claiming that his thought and works coincided with Catholicism.


3)  Discuss four
(4) structural or design innovations in the architecture of Gothic


During the Late
Middle Ages, the cathedral was the symbolic building of Gothic architecture,
standing out above the rest of the buildings, reflecting a new conception of
art and in which it was intended to bring the faithful closer to religious and
symbolic values.

As the first
execution of new construction techniques is the pointed arch, the ribbed vault
and the flying buttress. The use of these elements in the Gothic architecture,
and mainly in the cathedrals, allowed to build slender and light structures
that work with traction and not compression (as in previous Romanesque
buildings), which transform the interior space accentuated by the new ordering
of supports.


The buttress,
exterior arches that transmit, far from the pillar of support, the efforts
exerted by the vault. In order that these buttresses and other buttresses have
more weight and resistance, they are decorated with pinnacles, elements that
meet the constructive and aesthetic purpose. This construction system
configures the exterior appearance of the Gothic cathedrals, full of flying
buttresses, botales and pinnacles, which is complemented by needles, gargoyles,
caireles, cresting, etc …

The ribbed vault,
also called the ribbed vault, is a type of vault characteristic of Gothic
architecture that receives this name because it is formed by the crossing, or
intersection, of two-pointed barrel vaults. Unlike the groin vault, the groin
vault is characterized by being reinforced by two or more intersecting diagonal
nerves. This consists of two elements: the arches that constitute its
framework, or skeleton, and the cloths or plements that cover the intermediate
spaces between the arches.

The abutment, also
called abutment, is a punctual thickening of a wall, normally towards the
outside, used to transmit the transversal loads to the foundation.

The fourth
innovation is the sculptural decoration in the doors and facades that, through
its iconography and symbolism, explains the theological conception of the Gothic
world, being an image facing the citizen, mostly illiterate and who understood
that world only through of words and images.


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