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The Gothic Revival in Europe and the United States. in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries. Former Abbey Church at Z’dar, Moravia [Czech Republic] Renovation in the early 18th century by Giovanni Santini Aichl

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The Gothic Revival in Europe and the United States

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The Gothic Revival in Europe and the United States

in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries

Former Abbey Church at Z’dar, Moravia [Czech Republic]

Renovation in the early 18th century by Giovanni Santini Aichl

View of the apse with its gothic arcuation filled in. The gothic character of the church was assimilated into the baroque renovation.

Interior to East

Interior to West

Organ case in N transept

High Altar

Cemetery at Zelena Hora, Moravia [Czech Republic] with Chapel by Giovanni Santini Aichl, early 18th c

Views of the Circuit wall with corridor that surrounds the cemetery

Principal (west) facade

Lateral (south) facade

Various views of the exterior,revealing the idiosyncratic form.

High Altar with its sculptural decoration

Stucco respond and ribs

Vault and gallery

Window detail

Organ Gallery (upper gallery)

Organ Gallery parapet detail (above: back side)

The Gothic Revival in England

St. Dunstan’s-in-the-East by Sir Christopher Wren, 1698 (damaged during World War II

St. Mary Aldermary, Victoria Street, by Sir Christopher Wren, 1682

The reconstruction of some of the London churches in Gothic style was a pragmatic choice that did not have an immediate impact on British architecture. However, in the middle of the 18th century, Horace Walpole and a group of his friends undertook an experiment that did have consequences of great importance.

In 1748, at Twickenham on the banks of the Thames above London, Horace Walpole erected a country home that he named Strawberry Hill. This was a conscious attempt to create a modern building using the forms and ornaments of the Gothic. It was also the first time that the Gothic had been revived for residential or secular rather than for religious buildings.

Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, by Horace Walpole and others, 1748-77

Walpole assembled a variety of medieval elements, none of them archaeological, and created an asymmetrical composition with an irregular roofline of towers, turrets, chimneys and crenelations.

The gallery of Strawberry Hill is modeled on the fan vaulting found in English Gothic cathedral cloisters such as Lincoln and Gloucester.

However, these modern counterparts of the stone vaults of the medieval period are executed in plaster.

The effect was more important than the technique.

Strawberry Hill was wildly popular. Tourists came in droves from London to see and admire it. As a result many other neo-Gothic works were built.

Sitting Room with fireplace derived from a twin-towered façade, probably of a chapel or church.

The Library with carved wood tracery derived from a choir screen .



Fonthill Abbey for William Beckford by James Wyatt, 1796-1807

Fonthill Abbey by James Wyatt was one of the most elaborate and extravagant of the neo-Gothic houses.

Meant to seem like an abandoned abbey that had been taken over and inhabited by modern people, it plays on the darker side of the Gothic revival: the mystical, mysterious, shadowy, and awe-inspiring.

St. Michael Gallery


Grand Staircase

The interior was equally steeped in the sense of the mysterious and even the foreboding. The spiritual, aspiring forms of the medieval Gothic now carried an element of the supernatural, the ghostly, even the ghoulish, perhaps the magical.

The Gothic Revival in the United States

Cathedral of the Assumption, Baltimore, by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 1804-08

Two versions of the Cathedral of the Assumption were designed by Latrobe: one was neo-classic and the other was gothic.

The Church authorities saw the neo-classic design as more suitable to express the notion of religious freedom for which Maryland had been founded by Lord Baltimore, a catholic.

St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel, Baltimore, by Maximilian Godefroy, 1806ff

Interior of the Chapel with modern choir stalls and lighting. Note the plaster ribwork and the decorative column clusters with gilded capitals.

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