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The Grace Church

Gothic Influence

Gothic architecture is one of the most easily recognizable styles of architecture. It originally grew out of the Romanesque style, and grew into its own around 1150 AD.The beginning of the style is marked by the construction of the Abbey Church of St. Denis, which is located in France. The style finds it origins in Abbot Suger, chief advisor to Louis VI. He wanted to recentralize the power of the king, which was being lost to the nobles, so he convinced the king to build a church that was serve as a focal point for the religious and patriotic ideals of the kingdom. The building was being constructed in the only area of France were the king had any power, Ile de France. He hoped that this would become a pilgrimage point to the people and strengthen his power. With this the gothic era of architecture began, and would last for almost a century. During which time many of the great cathedrals of Europe would be built.

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Many stylistic differences separate the buildings of the Gothic era from those of the Romanesque. The Gothic churches, with their superior vaulting techniques allowed for a greater amount of windows, which lit the interiors of the churches. The buildings seemed more open on the inside due to the structural supports located on the outside.

This style of architecture is evident in the structure of the Grace Church. The east wall is composed almost entirely of stained glass, as are many of the side wallsThe Spire resembles many of the churches of the Gothic period. The Garden as well as the rectory and parish house are similar to those that were present to the churches of the Gothic period.

Like churches of the Gothic age, the Grace Church was a focal point for its community. The Cathedrals of that period were centers of education, much like the Grace Church School, which began as a school for the choirboys, and has grown into a reputable learning establishment, with over 300 students enrolled. The church also provides adult education as well as summer courses.

 

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