The Gothic style of architecture marks the European architecture from the beginning of the 12th century until the middle of the 14th century. In France, the development of the gothic style strated a bit earlier; about the middle of the 11th century. “Gothic” stands in contrast to the renaissance, as exaggerated and babarian. The origin of the word “Gothic” comes from Italian authors as a sign of devaluation. We can divide the Gothic style up into 3 stages. The early-, high- and late-Gothic. Early-Gothic reaches until the the middle of the 13th century. It has more basic decorations and wide arches and massive butttresses.
This was followed by the High-Gothic witch extends till the middle of the 14th century and is marked by it s much more detailed and fine orders and arrangement. The arches tended to be higher and narrower. In the High-Gothic all in all the buildings and structures became bigger and higher. The last of the three Gothic stages, the Late-Gothic just developed in the end of the 14th century. It is the peak stage, with the development of the star shaped vaults. Most buildings which are build in Gothic style are Kathedrals and church buildings but you can also find some city halls (like the one in Hamburg) and privat houses wich are build in this style.
Before the 12th century, the Churches where build with heavy, thick stone vaults (the structure which supports the sealing or roof) which tended to push the walls to the side. This structures collapsed sometimes under the enourmous pressure. The solution to this problem came in the middle of the 12th century, when the “rip vault” was invented. This was the first step to the Gothic style and the beginning of the Early-Gothic. The rip vault released the pressue from the walls, and steered the forces downwards.
The architects made now use of the lighter and thinner vault stones which helped to make the whole structure lighter and allowed a variety of new creations and forms. Now that the pressure was taken away from the outer walls, enabled the architects to make the outer walls thinner or decorate them with glass and other decorations. Also the size increased. Architects developed the typical “3 floor” kathedrals. Bulidings reached unseen hights.
At the end of the 12th century, another style developed, the “Rayonnants Gothic period. The origin of the name Rayonnants, is the radial-spoke shape (wheel like) of a rosewindow, like the one which deorates the north end of the Notre Dame kathedral. Hight was from there on not the priamary goal any more. The architects tried to get rid of the massive, dark and depressing look of their buldings. They tried much more impress the viewer. From the middle of the 13th century, the mystrikal darkness was liftet by a lot of glass and the grey and dark colours became lighter and more warmer.
Barock: The Barok art and architecture was the dominating style of architecture in europe, amerika and certain european colonies around the 16th century. Historians are not shure about the origin of the name Barok. It might come from the portoguise word “barocco” or from the spanish “barueco” which both mean as much as unregular shaped perl. The Barok style starts of in Italy as a sign of a antireform and absolutism and as a representation of the katholic church. It was the expression of the monarchs at that time. It represented power and influence; and was the aspiration of something “higher” and was the way they expressed their feeling of superiority.
You can easily see that the monarchs at that time saw theselfs as the centre of the world by looking at the gardens of the palace of Versailles; every path in the huge area is pointing towards the middle of the palace which was the place where the monarch lived. The whole style of the Barok architecture consists of much more movement and curves than the predecessor the Renaissance.The collumns and arkades (arch between two columns) lost their calmness and restfullness by setting them in “movement” with the spiral shaped decorations.
Colonades where decorated with straight beams to give an impression of more room. Everything appeared bigger and richer moddeled than in former times. Architects made use of konvex (bend outwards) and konkarv (bend inwards) shapes, which gave them new opportunities in order of room designing. Apart from the typical forward and backward jumping extensions in the outside wall another architectual thing became increasingly popular; the Risalits. Which are forward leaping parts of the building. The walls seemed to melt over to the sealings with the help of stucco. Mirrors hung up on opposite walls gave the visitors the impression/illusion of endless room.
Beside that there were an enourmous amount of artistic wall paintings there, which were calculated in such a way that they gave the same impression on the viewer in which ever corner of the room he stood in. This was especially important for churches, where the light enters the building in another angle. The outside view on a Barock building was characterized by sculptures ornaments and figures at the outside wall and was usually surrounded by a huge garden areal which was also kept in Barock style.
That means that the bushed were cutted to figures and the lawn was cutted needly. The pathes are allways pointing towards the main building and are kept clean and tidy. The landscape was often decorated by a variety of stairways, water basins and fontaines. Of course this form of Barock was highly cost and labour intensive, so the only ones which could really afford this style where the rich monarchs and the church.