This is the western facade of the medieval, gothic cathedral in Salisbury (U.K.). This magnificent structure was built from scratch in merely 38 years, from 1220 to 1258. This means that many local inhabitants saw the cathedral’s construction from the beginning until the end in their own lifetime. They could have looked at the cathedral and say ‘Ye know, I remember when I was a child there was nothing there!’
Salisbury cathedral challenges the popular misconception according to which building a medieval cathedral took hundreds of years and many generations to finish. This was not the case – it was possible to build a large, monumental cathedral much faster – the reason why some of the medieval cathedrals were built so long (Cologne, Prague etc.) is because their constructions were frequently halted for many, sometimes hundreds of years. The funding ended so constructions stood half finished for a long time, but this does not mean that the actual building took so long! Also, I remember reading leaflets from cathedrals saying – the building of this cathedral took 900 years – from the 12th to the 20th C. Once again, this merely means that parts of the building date from different periods, but it does not mean that the actual building took so long. Also, Salisbury was not a poorly conceived structure – it’s construction took 70,000 tons of stone, 2,641 tons of timber and 420 tons of lead. Furthermore, its original plan conveys symbolic, mathematical messages – for example the finished cathedral had 365 windows, the same number as there are days in a year, and 8760 marble pillars, the exact same number as there are hours in a year. All this, thousands of tons of building materials and elaborate, mathematical design in less than 40 years – to me, this is just a sign how effective medieval industry, architects and labour was, as long as there were wealthy donors willing to finance the project and say ‘Ok, just do it!’
The story (I think it's true) is that the internal roof structure looks like an upturned ship. It is! The only people who could work on this scale where shipbuilders and they naturally trusted the shape they knew best.
A przy okazji - Wszystkiego Dobrego w całym nowym roku, dużo ciekawych podróży, wzniosłych przeżyć i niepowtarzalnych zdjęć!
Do you know of other cathedrals built such rapidly ?
again a pleasure to read and very beautiful photo!
I admire the people who designed, funded and built the cathedrals - they had vision, passion, dedication. Maybe we've lost the idea of doing something great for God.
People before us ware,nt not sillier than we
Maybe ware clevlier?mery blesed Christmass