How is the Washington National Cathedral structured?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Washington National Cathedral was designed following the pattern of medieval Gothic cathedrals in Europe. It has pointed arches (possibly the most obvious characteristic of Gothic architecture), intricately carved stonework, and flying buttresses outside the main building. Those buttresses allow for high ceilings and large expanses of stained glass windows. The main sanctuary is built in the shape of a cross with the longer axis running east to west and the main altar at the eastern end. The main entrance to the Cathedral is on the western end, with the creation portrayed in the stonework above the great doorway. Inside the Cathedral, the eastern end is dominated by the High Altar and the carved iconographic images picturing the redemption of humanity through Christ's death and resurrection.