What is the 14th Century English Gothic structure at the Washington National Cathedral?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The architectural style in which the Washington National Cathedral was designed and built is called Decorated Gothic. It is a style of construction developed and used in England from roughly 1270-1380 (the 14th century). The Gothic style of architecture made use of the pointed arch over doorways, windows, and across the expanse of rooms.  This innovation allowed for wider aisles, larger rooms, and thinner walls with much larger windows. Flying buttresses on the outside of Gothic structures gave support to arches and columns, allowing for construction of cathedral spaces that seemed to reach right to the heavens containing the God being worshipped within the cathedral. Carved stone and wood, as well as stained glass and tapestry, conveyed lessons about the history of the Church, the beliefs of the worshippers, and the magnificence of God.