know about some of the most impressive medieval structures around, including castles that were built nearly one thousand years and a cathedral that, for centuries was the world’s tallest building.
Wells of cathedral
When the present Wells Cathedral was constructed sometime around 1175, it was the first cathedral to be built entirely using the new Gothic Style that was brought from France. The first phase of building took around eight decades to complete. 300 statues that were built during its original construction remain to this day. Architects and observes widely recognize the Wells Cathedral as one of the most beautiful of all of the English Cathedrals.
Guildhall of London
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of London’s Guildhall is its breathtaking medieval great hall which is regularly used for grand ceremonies. The building was undertaken in 1411 and completed in 1440. The Great Fire of London in 1666 didn’t affect the Guildhall too much, though partial restoration from slight damage would be required.
Amazingly, this castle is still owned by a branch of the same family that lived there in the eleven hundred’s a full 33 generations ago, the Eltz family. In 1268 the Eltz brothers had a dispute, and the family split the castle in three, with each sibling building their own fortified living quarters. These separate building co-existed for hundreds of years. Finally, in the early 1800’s, the House of the Golden Lion had outlived the other families and was prosperous enough to unify the castle.
Mont Saint Michel Abbey
Today, the medieval island community of Mont Saint Michel has an epic Abbey at its apex and is connected to France’s coast via a single 2500 foot highway and footbridge. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country and millions visit annually. In medieval times the monastery protected the French from the invading English repeatedly during the Hundred Years’ War and thanks to state of the art fortifications for its time was never seized.
After the French Revolution, the island became nothing more than a dilapidated prison until prominent figures like author Victor Hugo launched a recovery campaign. Their efforts were rewarded when the prison closed in 1863 and again when Mont Saint Michel was declared a historical monument in 1874. Restoration efforts have been ongoing for years and have made the island an extremely impressive, beautiful site.
One of the most impressive Gothic structures on the planet Lincoln Cathedral lies in the town of Lincoln, England. Bishop Remigius started work on the Cathedral in 1072. An earthquake would partially destroy the Cathedral in 1124 leaving only the West Front, which has been preserved to this day. When a replacement tower with a spire was added to the Lincoln Cathedral, it became the tallest building in the world and would hold this title for the next 238 years until the spire collapsed in 1549. It was not rebuilt.