Gothic Decorating Ideas

gothic decorating ideas

  • Provide (a room or building) with a color scheme, paint, wallpaper, etc

  • Confer an award or medal on (a member of the armed forces)

  • (decorate) deck: be beautiful to look at; "Flowers adorned the tables everywhere"

  • Make (something) look more attractive by adding ornament to it

  • (decorate) award a mark of honor, such as a medal, to; "He was decorated for his services in the military"

  • (decorate) make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.; "Decorate the room for the party"; "beautify yourself for the special day"

  • Of or in the style of architecture prevalent in western Europe in the 12th–16th centuries, characterized by pointed arches, rib vaults, and flying buttresses, together with large windows and elaborate tracery

  • Of or relating to the Goths or their extinct East Germanic language, which provides the earliest manuscript evidence of any Germanic language (4th–6th centuries ad)

  • Belonging to or redolent of the Dark Ages; portentously gloomy or horrifying

  • characteristic of the style of type commonly used for printing German

  • extinct East Germanic language of the ancient Goths; the only surviving record being fragments of a 4th-century translation of the Bible by Bishop Ulfilas

  • of or relating to the language of the ancient Goths; "the Gothic Bible translation"

  • A thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action

  • (idea) the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about; "it was not a good idea"; "the thought never entered my mind"

  • A concept or mental impression

  • (idea) mind: your intention; what you intend to do; "he had in mind to see his old teacher"; "the idea of the game is to capture all the pieces"

  • An opinion or belief

  • (idea) a personal view; "he has an idea that we don't like him"

Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral

Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral

Saint Vitus Cathedral is a cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic, and the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. The full name of the cathedral is St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings, this cathedral is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in the country.


The first church — also consecrated to St. Vitus — that stood at the location of the present-day cathedral was an early romanesque rotunda founded by Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia in 925. This patron saint was chosen because Wenceslaus had acquired a holy relic — the arm of St. Vitus — from Emperor Henry I. It is also possible that Wenceslaus, wanting to convert his subjects to Christianity more easily, chose a saint whose name sounds very much like the name of Slavic solar deity Svantevit. Two religious populations, the increasing Christian and decreasing pagan community, lived simultaneously in Prague castle at least until the 11th century.

In the year 1060, as the bishopric of Prague was founded, prince Spythinev II embarked on building a more spacious church, as it became clear the existing rotunda was too small to accommodate the faithful. A much larger and more representative romanesque basilica was built in its spot. Though still not completely reconstructed, most experts agree it was a triple-aisled basilica with two choirs and a pair of towers connected to the western transept. The design of the cathedral nods to Romanesque architecture of the Holy Roman Empire, most notably to the abbey church in Hildesheim and the Speyer Cathedral. The southern apse of the rotunda was incorporated into the eastern transept of the new church because it housed the tomb of St. Wenceslaus, who had by now become the patron saint of the Czech princes. A bishop's mansion was also built south of the new church, and was considerably enlarged and extended in the mid 12th-century.

The Gothic Cathedral

The present day Gothic Cathedral was founded on 21st of November, 1344, when the Prague bishopric was raised to an archbishopric. Its patrons were the chapter of cathedral (led by a Dean), the Archbishop Arnost of Pardubice, and, above all, Charles IV, King of Bohemia and a soon-to-be Holy Roman Emperor, who intended the new cathedral to be a coronation church, family crypt, treasury for the most precious relics of the kingdom, and the last resting place cum pilgirimage site of patron saint Wenceslaus. The first master builder was a Frenchman Matthias of Arras, summoned from the papal palace in Avignon. Matthias designed the overall layout of the building as, basically, an import of French Gothic: a triple-naved basilica with flying buttresses, short transept, five-bayed choir and decagon apse with ambulatory and radiating chapels. However, he lived to build only the easternmost parts of the choir: the arcades and the ambulatory. The slender verticality of Late French Gothic and clear, almost rigid respect of proportions distinguish his work today.

After Matthias' death in 1352, a new master builder took over the cathedral workshop. This was Peter Parler, at that time only 23-years old and son of the architect of the Heiligenkreutzkirche in Schwabische Gmund. Parler at first only worked according to the plans left by his predecessor, building the sacristy on the north side of the choir and the chapel on the south. Once he finished all that Matthias left unfinished, he continued according to his own ideas. Parler's bold and innovative design brought in a unique new synthesis of Gothic elements in architecture. This is best exemplified in the vaults he designed for the choir. The so-called Parler's vaults or net-vaults have double (not single, as in classic High Gothic groin vaults) diagonal ribs that span the width of the choir-bay. The crossing pairs of ribs create a net-like construction (hence the name), which considerably strengthens the vault. They also give a lively ornamentation to the ceiling, as the interlocking vaulted bays create a dynamic zigzag pattern down the length of the cathedral.

While Matthias of Arras was schooled as a geometer, thus putting an emphasis on rigid systems of proportions and clear, mathematical compositions in his design, Parler was trained as sculptor and woodcarver. He treated architecture as a sculpture, almost as if playing with structural forms in stone. Aside from his rather bold vaults, the pecularities of his work can also be seen in the design of pillars (with classic, bell-shaped columns which were almost forgotten by High Gothic), the ingenious dome vault of new St Wenceslaus chapel, the undulating clerestory walls, the original window tracery (no two of his windows are the same, the ornamentation is always different) and the blind tracery pannels of the buttresses. Architectural sculpture was given a considerable role while Parler was in charge of construct

NYC: Church of St Paul the Apostle

NYC: Church of St Paul the Apostle

The Church of St. Paul the Apostle is a Roman catholic church located near Lincoln Center. The Paulist Fathers, who at the time were a newly formed religious community of Roman Catholic priests, established the parish in 1858. On January 4, 1876 the cornerstone for the Church of St. Paul the Apostle was laid, and so began the construction of the Mother Church of the Paulist Fathers.

The church was the fulfillment of the ideals and hopes of Father Hecker, who dreamed of building a noble basilica that would combine the artistic ideals of the past, with the American genius of his day. After visiting and studying noted European churches, he communicated his ideas to the architect Jeremiah O’Rourke who drew up the plans for the present building. Father George Deshon, one of the original Paulists, and a West Point engineer, later took over as architect-in-charge and brought the church to completion in January 1885.

Inspired by the 4th & 5th century early Christian basilicas in Ravenna, Italy, the church is 284 feet long, 121 feet wide, and 114 feet to the highest point of the towers, which are 38 feet square. The grand exterior of the church reflects 13th century Old Gothic. The west facade (actual east) has twin towers and a large bas-relief of the Conversion of St Paul by Lumen Martin Winter. To decorate and beautify the interior of St. Paul’s, Father Hecker engaged the eminent American artists John LaFarge, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Lumen Winter, Stanford White, and later, William Laurel Harris.

The church also contains a world-class organ. This fine instrument, replacing an earlier Skinner organ, was constructed in 1965 by the M.P. Moller Company, and restored by the Peragallo Pipe Organ Company in 2000. It has 4 manuals, 82 ranks, 78 stops, and 4965 pipes. The Moller organ has attracted many famous organists eager to play this fine instrument.

National Register #91001723

gothic decorating ideas

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