Sunday, February 20, 2011


The two cathedrals discussed in class on Friday in the lynx group were Cologne, Germany and Salisbury, England. In discussing the contrast and comparison between the two in terms of construction and light, many interpretations were given. It was perhaps through this discussion that we are able to relate these cathedrals to region and a map to the medieval times and tell why these cathedrals are so important.

Comparisons between Cologne and Salisbury in terms of construction:

Both cathedrals have vaulted ceilings and arches. These help represent the scale, importance, and musical tones of the structure. Columns are placed reaching vertically to not only reach to the heavens, but to direct people there to have communication to the trinity. Vertically reaching columns of windows help make this reaching upward become more achievable and real.

Comparison between Cologne and Salisbury in terms of light:

The lighting in both cathedrals help give light to the people in a time of darkness. This is contrary to the time period they live in (dark ages) and gives them hope that the future will be bright. The glowing makes this feeling of going upward a kind of reality, making it lifelike and making one feel as if they are in heaven for just a minute. Perhaps, most importantly this light is what helps direct one to the alter and direct people through the space. This light coming to the alter could stand to represent the importance of the priest to the structure in that it is through him that we can communicate to the on of higher power, the almighty, the one and only God. Lastly, a unique discovery is that the location where this light comes in is in groups of three, three windows (the father, the son, the holy ghost).

Below are pictures of each cathedral and some of the contrasts the two have:

Cologne, Germany

This cathedral has two columns at the entrance. These columns lead people to the cathedral as well as guide them in. The center column lies on the axis showing the connection to the heavens and the rising upward to the light.

The windows show glowing up towards the ceiling, helping the viewer look upward and face the heavens. Perhaps this helps them look to the brightness the earth still has during the dark ages.  (notice that these windows come in a bundle and not in groups of three.

This picture shows the two columns at the front of the building which helps guide people in.

Salisbury, England:
The first picture shows that this cathedral has multiple columns marking the corners of the cathedral. The biggest of the columns is marking the axis (the most important spot of the cathedral), the center of the cathedral. At the top of the cathedral the two small columns marking the end of one section meets with the roof of the cathedral easily making the number three. The use of three is also evident in the windows of the cathedral.

The second picture shows this representation of three (the trinity: the father, son, and holy ghost) in the windows in the interior. In contrast to the cologne cathedral, this cathedrals windows are lower making the viewer not look up as much. This light puts a glow on the alter and the windows stone features.

These contrast show how region effects how something is built. Though these two cathedrals try and are intended to achieve the same purpose, but do not exactly do that to full extent. Though they both help one see brightness in a time of darkness and reach upward, they do it in different ways. They both however direct one upward to the heavens, making them important locations on the map both regionally and globally, because it is not all buildings or locations that have such extraordinary connections.

Here is my cognitive map of the Cologne, Germany cathedral to the region and the world in which it stands:

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