The 23 Most Famous Gothic Buildings Around the World
From Paris’s Notre-Dame to Colombia’s Santuario de Las Lajas church, peruse some of the best examples of Gothic architecture around the globe.
The Middle Ages in Europe ushered in a new architectural style that originated in the Île-de-France region of northern France. Gothic architecture developed during the 12th century from Romanesque style, and its most prominent features were the use of pointed arches, vaulted ceilings, slimmer columns that were built as high as possible, spires, and flying buttresses. The new style proved so popular that its influence in Europe and around the world would last for centuries with some countries such as Germany, England, Italy, and Spain even developing their versions of it. The buildings—mostly churches— were so grand and the designs so elaborate that, to this day, they are considered architectural masterpieces.
One of the first Gothic churches was the Abbey of Saint-Denis just outside of Paris that was built around the 1100s and became the resting place for most of France’s kings between the 10th and 18th centuries.
And while most Gothic buildings were nonsecular, there are also beautiful examples of administrative structures built in this popular medieval style.
Here, we take you around the world on a tour of the most stunning Gothic buildings that continue to inspire us.