Strasbourg Cathedral, France




Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, also known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is widely considered to be among the finest examples of high, or late, Gothic architecture. Erwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions from 1277 to his death in 1318.

At 142 metres (466 feet), it was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874, when it was surpassed by St. Nikolai's Church, Hamburg. Today it is the sixth-tallest church in the world and the highest still-standing structure built entirely in the Middle Ages.

Described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel", and by Goethe as a "sublimely towering, wide-spreading tree of God", the cathedral is visible far across the plains of Alsace and can be seen from as far off as the Vosges Mountains or the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine. Sandstone from the Vosges used in construction gives the cathedral its characteristic pink hue.

The construction began with the quire and the north transept in a Romanesque style, reminiscent of and actually inspired by the Imperial Cathedrals in its monumentality and height. But in 1225, a team coming from Chartres revolutionized the construction by suggesting a Gothic architecture style. The parts of the nave that had already been begun in Romanesque style were torn down and in order to find money to finish the nave, the Chapter resorted to Indulgences in 1253. The money was kept by the Ĺ’uvre Notre-Dame, which also hired architects and stone workers. The influence of the Chartres masters was also felt in the sculptures and statues: the "Pillar of Angels" (Pilier des anges), a representation of the Last Judgment on a pillar in the southern transept, facing the Astronomical clock, owes to their expressive style.


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