Tag Archives: Gothic Architecture

Hospices de Beaune: death’s fancy waiting room

The Chancellor of Burgundy, Nicolas Rolin, like a lot of other rich people in the 15th century, was trying to insure his place in heaven through charity to the poor.  He founded Hospices de Beaune (also known as Hôtel-Dieu) in 1443 as an almshouse during a time of terrible famine and disease. Most American guidebooks […]

A brief but affectionate history of the arch

I have a crush on arches.  Technically an arch is any rounded architectural structure that spans an opening.  The curve of the arch disperses the vertical weight it holds horizontally to allow for greater distance between supports.  But let’s leave the technical details to the engineers–what you need to know is this: arches are practical, arches […]

Lübeck, Germany: brick Gothic or bust

We walked to the peninsula that encloses the old town of Lübeck, in the far North of Germany, towards….hmmm, a giant cone bra???  Well, actually, it was the Holstentor: a fortified medieval gate and my introduction to brick Gothic.  I’ve long been a drooling aficionado of Gothic architecture, especially it’s carved stone elements and sculpture.  Bricks, though, […]