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Why were medieval cathedrals built?

Question:

Why were medieval cathedrals built?

Medieval Architecture:

Starting in the medieval period and continuing through today, Catholic cathedrals dominate the landscape in many European cities. In medieval society, these imposing marvels served several important functions.

Answer and Explanation:

Medieval cathedrals were built to be the seat of power for bishops and archbishops, who were key officials in the Catholic Church. Bishops were the most important priests in their region, known as a diocese, and the cathedral symbolized their importance. In addition, nobles and wealthier people in a community could donate money to help build the cathedral, helping grow local pride and increasing the influence of local nobles.

Medieval cathedrals, especially the Gothic ones, were built to be tall and imposing, with a spacious interior and beautiful decorations that inspired the imaginations and prayers of worshipers. In a society where most people were illiterate, the cathedral's grandeur, its intricate tile work and sculptures, and its stained glass full of biblical stories could educate common people about the mysteries of the Christian faith.


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The Role of the Catholic Church in Medieval Europe

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Chapter 14 / Lesson 26
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Learn about the role of the Catholic Church in medieval Europe. Explore how religion shaped medieval society and the significance of medieval churches.


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