Development of Gothic Architecture

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What are the main differences between Romanesque churches and Gothic churches?

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There are several major differences between Romanesque and Gothic church architecture. Romanesque was the earlier of the two and Gothic evolved out of Romanesque. Romanesque frequently included domes and favoured the barrel vault. It required thick walls and had less room for windows than Gothic due to structural limitations, which make the churches look darker inside. The major technical innovations of the Gothic were flying buttresses, pointed arches and rib vaulting that were significantly stronger than the Romanesque techniques, allowing for the characteristically light and airy quality of the Gothic. Gothic churches were distinguished by large numbers of dramatic stained glass widows and elaboration of ornament.

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