Catholic Architecture—Study Aids

Catholic Culture Unit #1 — Architecture
covers innovations in Church design and ornamentation with special emphasis on structural principles and artistic styles of the great Abbeys and Cathedrals of Christendom.

Information Pages

These pages summarize much of the material needed to study for the Catholic Architecture unit review questions and are derived from Public domain sources.

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Cathedral Architecture—Overview
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Architectural Structures—Arches, Buttresses, etc.
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Architecural Ornaments and Features
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Architectural Styles through the Ages
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Great Cathedrals, Abbeys, and Basilicas
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Printable Homework Questions

Worksheet
Recommended Reading

These books are recommened for students interested in Catholic Architecture.
CLICK ON COVER IMAGE to purchase online.

Cathedral     by David Macaulay
This book uses beautifully detailed pen and ink drawings to show how Cathedrals were built during the Middle Ages. It goes step by step through all of the planning and construction, including design, obtaining materials, laying the foundation, building walls and buttresses for a 100 foot ceiling, creating stained glass windows and casting bells. Supposedly a children's book but fascinating for all ages.


How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas Woods
No institution has done more to shape Western civilization than the two-thousand-year-old Catholic Church—and in ways that many of us have forgotten or never known. In this book Professor Thomas E. Woods explain the Church's profound role in shaping Western civilization and goes far beyond the familiar tale of monks copying manuscripts and preserving the wisdom of classical antiquity. Gifts such as modern science, free-market economics, art, music, and the idea of human rights come from the Catholic Church.

Recommended Chapter: (6) Art, Architecture, and the Church


Online Videos of Interest
  • PBS Cathedral - David Macaulay
    This 57 minutes adaptation of David Macaulay's 'Cathedral' book, combines an entertaining story of a medieval town that sacrifices for generations to build one of the most glorious Cathedrals in Europe, with a fascinating documentary that describes the brilliant innovations of Gothic architecture. Its animated back story will hold the interest of school age children, while McCaulay's spell-binding naration of the major developments in Architectural history during Middle ages will please views of all ages. Highly Recommended.
  • Builiding the Great Cathedrals
    This 54 minute video, produced by NOVA (PBS) combines a historical documentary narrating the building of several of Europe's most famous Cathedrals, with clear explanations of the important structural innovations of the Gothic era that revolutionized architecture.
Websites Links of Interest