Gothic Churches of France Photos

Beginning in the 1100s, cathedral builders in Europe started transitioning from Romanesque round arches to the pointed arches and other features of the Gothic style which allowed taller, thinner, lighter walls with more area for stained-glass windows. Some churches started using Romanesque designs at one end, finished with Gothic features at the other 100 years later. This page indexes our extensive photos of Gothic churches arranged chronologically within style sections. See Also below for Gothic details and a comparison of Gothic vs. Romanesque.

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STYLE: Early Gothic, Transition or Primitive (1130-80) ---------- ---------- ----------
1130-1171:
Sens Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral first Gothic cathedral in France. Sens, France Gothic portal of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Sens, France Carved beasts of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Sens, France
1135-1144:
Basilica of Saint-Denis, Paris
St-Denis Basilica , first major structure built mostly in Gothic style, heralding transition from Romanesque to Gothic style in later cathedrals. St Denis, France Carving of wine barrel & man with pigs on exterior of St-Denis Basilica. St Denis, France Rose window on north transept featuring Jesse Tree at St-Denis Basilica. St Denis, France
1145-1237:
Rouen Cathedral
Gothic arch with crucifixion carving surrounded by saints over western portal of Rouen Cathedral. Rouen, France Interior Gothic arches of Rouen Cathedral. Rouen, France Stairway with gothic designs at Rouen Cathedral. Rouen, France
1150-1231:
Noyon Cathedral
. . .
1153-1191:
Senlis Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral with some re-building & additions in subsequent centuries. Senlis, France Nave of Notre Dame Cathedral. Senlis, France Stained glass window with detail of life of St. Louis in Notre Dame Cathedral. Senlis, France
1155-1220:
Laon Cathedral
Rhinoceros gargoyle serving as water spout on Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Laon, France Light coming from lantern tower seen from transept crossing in Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Laon, France Central medallion of north rose window which represents liberal arts of the time at Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Laon, France
1150-1250:
Angers Cathedral
St. Maurice of Angers Cathedral spires. Angers, France Detail of telamones supporting organs at St. Maurice of Angers Cathedral. Angers, France North rose window by André Robin representing the Last Judgment & End of Time at St. Maurice of Angers Cathedral. Angers, France
1162-1379:
Poitiers Cathedral
. . .
1163-1182:
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral over Seine at sunset. Paris, France Last Judgment carving over center portal of Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris, France Notre Dame Cathedral ceiling. Paris, France
1170-13thC:
Lisieux Cathedral in Normandy
. . .
1170-14thC:
Lyon Cathedral
St. John's Cathedral in Vieux Lyon. Lyon, France Gargoyles & saints carved on entrance facade of St. John's Cathedral. Lyon, France Astronomical clock in St. John's Cathedral. Lyon, France
STYLE: High or Classic Gothic (1180-1230) ---------- ---------- ----------
1183-1324:
Bourges Cathedral
. . .
1194-1260:
Chartres Cathedral replaced earlier Romanesque
Facade of Chartres Cathedral. Chartres, France West rose window at Chartres Cathedral. Chartres, France Biblical scenes on carved choir screen at Chartres Cathedral. Chartres, France
1210-1274:
Coutances Cathedral, Normandy
. . .
1210:
Toul Cathedral reconstructed from Romanesque
. . .
1211-1345:
Reims Cathedral (rebuilt after WWI)
Main facade of Reims Cathedral. Reims, France Gargoyles & other carvings projecting from facade of Reims Cathedral. Reims, France Bishops, rich & kings being thrown into burning vats of hell in Last Judgment scene on Cathedral. Reims, France
1217-1254:
Le Mans Cathedral
. . .
1220-1288:
Amiens Cathedral; Rose window 1366-41
Amiens Cathedral. France Central portal with angels & Christ over Last Judgment story of Amiens Cathedral. Amiens, France Ceiling vaulting of highest cathedral nave in France at Amiens Cathedral. Amiens, France
1220-1270:
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral over Cité Bridge. Paris, France Gothic rear structure of Notre Dame Cathedral with flying buttresses. Paris, France Rose window of Virgin & Child circle by old testament figures in north transept of Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris, France
1225-1272:
Beauvais Cathedral unfinished after tower falls
Details of richly decorated facade & flying buttresses of Cathédrale St-Pierre. Beauvais, France Large brace rising from floor at 45 degree angle to give support to pillars which hold up vault at Cathédrale St-Pierre. Beauvais, France Supporting brace to keep transept walls from collapsing at Cathédrale St-Pierre. Beauvais, France
STYLE: Rayonnant (1230-1420) ---------- ---------- ----------
1231-1264:
Basilica of Saint-Denis enlarged
St-Denis Basilica , first major structure built mostly in Gothic style, heralding transition from Romanesque to Gothic style in later cathedrals. St Denis, France Carving of wine barrel & man with pigs on exterior of St-Denis Basilica. St Denis, France Rose window on north transept featuring Jesse Tree at St-Denis Basilica. St Denis, France
1238-1248:
Sainte-Chapelle, Ile de la Cité, Paris
St Chapelle commissioned by King Louis IX of France. Paris, France Painted biblical scene in Gothic tetrafoil surrounded by Fleur-de-Lys at St Chapelle. Paris, France Seated man with woman stained glass scene at St Chapelle. Paris, France
1252 & 1334-1364:
Palais des Papes, Avignon
Papal Palace. Avignon, France Inner courtyard of Papal Palace. Avignon, France Gothic audience window on inner courtyard of Papal Palace. Avignon, France
1284:
Conciergerie & Palais de la Cité, Paris
Conciergerie on Ile de la Cité where Marie Antoinette & about 2600 others were imprisoned during the Terror before being taken to the Guillotine. Paris, France Salle des Gens d'Armes at Conciergerie. Paris, France Spiral staircase in Tour Bonbec Conciergerie. Paris, France
1340-1410:
Château de Vincennes
. . .
STYLE: Late or Flamboyant Gothic (1420-16thC) ---------- ---------- ----------
1405-1527:
Notre-Dame de l'Épine
. . .
1435:
Church of Saint-Maclou, Rouen.
St Maclou church. Rouen, France Last judgment carving on St Maclou church. Rouen, France Half-timbered buildings surround St Maclou church. Rouen, France
1493-1510:
Church of Notre-Dame de Louviers expanded
. . .
1500-1508:
Beauvais Cathedral south transept
Details of richly decorated facade & flying buttresses of Cathédrale St-Pierre. Beauvais, France Large brace rising from floor at 45 degree angle to give support to pillars which hold up vault at Cathédrale St-Pierre. Beauvais, France Supporting brace to keep transept walls from collapsing at Cathédrale St-Pierre. Beauvais, France
1507-1513:
Chartres Cathedral north tower rebuilt after lightning fire
Facade of Chartres Cathedral. Chartres, France West rose window at Chartres Cathedral. Chartres, France Biblical scenes on carved choir screen at Chartres Cathedral. Chartres, France
16thC:
Rouen Cathedral west facade & towers rebuilt after fire
Towers & spires of western facade of Rouen Cathedral. Rouen, France Facade spire details of Rouen Cathedral. Rouen, France Saints carved on facade of Rouen Cathedral. Rouen, France

See Also:

All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Jim Steinhart.
All rights reserved. Permission required to use.

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