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Identify, and then compare and contrast, the architectural styles of the cathedrals in Toulouse and Chartres.  

The Basilica of Saint-Sernin in Toulouse is distinctly Romanesque, with its barrel vaults and rounded arches. In contrast, Chartres is distinctly Gothic, with its flying buttresses, pointed arches, and rose window. Even though the cathedrals feature several similar elements like vaults, arches, apses, and ambulatories, the different ways they approached these elements highlight differences in style. Romanesque cathedrals had thicker walls and darker atmospheres, while Gothic cathedrals had thinner walls, higher ceilings, more windows, and lighter atmospheres.

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Romanesque architecture flourished during the tenth through thirteenth centuries. It was meant to reflect elements of ancient Roman architecture. The Gothic style grew out of Romanesque and was born in France around the twelfth century, later spreading throughout Europe, and was popular until the sixteenth century. Gothic style is most known for differing from Romanesque style because it used pointed arches instead of rounded arches and introduced flying buttresses and ribbed vaults to cathedrals. But there is a lot more to it than that. For instance, Gothic architecture placed a specific emphasis on filling a space with light. This was a way to make the space feel heavenly, in contrast to Romanesque cathedrals which had thick walls and not many windows which created a dark, heavy atmosphere.

The Basilica of Saint-Sernin in Toulouse is the largest Romanesque church in Europe. Constructed around 1077, it is a prime example of Romanesque architecture, with its barrel vaults and rounded arches. Construction on the Chartres cathedral began in 1194, and it is considered by many to be a perfect example of Gothic architecture. It shared several elements with the Toulouse cathedral, including buttresses, vaulted ceilings, and arches. But its tall, flying buttresses, its pointed arches, and its rib-and-panel vaults are distinctly gothic. Also, consider how its famous rose window allows an incredible amount of light to flood the space. This is a distinctive development from the Romanesque style and is quite characteristic of the Gothic style.

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