<p>French builders of the 1100s first dared to fashion heaven's image in soaring cathedrals of stone. Entrances were through portals worthy of paradise, and the sanctuary was charged with light pressed through glass tapestries radiant with faith.</p> <p>The Gothic building boom reflected an era of growing power for the monarchy, the cities, and the bourgeoisie, and the cathedrals expressed civic pride fully as much as ecclesiastical glory.</p> <p>— From "The Gothic Revolution," July 1989, <i>National Geographic</i> magazine</p>

Paris, France

French builders of the 1100s first dared to fashion heaven's image in soaring cathedrals of stone. Entrances were through portals worthy of paradise, and the sanctuary was charged with light pressed through glass tapestries radiant with faith.

The Gothic building boom reflected an era of growing power for the monarchy, the cities, and the bourgeoisie, and the cathedrals expressed civic pride fully as much as ecclesiastical glory.

— From "The Gothic Revolution," July 1989, National Geographic magazine

France's Gothic Revolution

See photos of France's Gothic Revolution in this photo gallery from National Geographic.

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