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Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction (1973)

by David Macaulay

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2,257225,051 (4.26)21
Text and detailed drawings follow the planning and construction of a magnificent Gothic cathedral in the imaginary French town of Chutreaux during the thirteenth century.
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Same series as "City" and "Castle", the shortest one and therefore most abridged. The perspective is a bit out on the sketches on this one. ( )
  TeaTimeCoder | Dec 23, 2020 |
David Macauley has written a series of informative books about architectural wonders. Cathedral describes the construction of an imaginary cathedral in Chutreaux in France, in order to illustrate the methods of the actual construction of a Gothic cathedral, most of which were built between the 12th and 14th centuries in Europe. As he points out though, whereas his theoretical cathedral was built uninterrupted, in real life this was rarely the case: “owing to either financial or structural problems or both, the completion of may such undertakings was delayed for as long as two hundred years.”

A glossary is included in the back of the book.

Evaluation: This book will more than satisfy both kids and adults curious about the amazing steps taken to create such enormous buildings without any modern equipment. Fine pen and ink drawings add to understanding the process. ( )
  nbmars | Oct 26, 2020 |
Originally published in black and white, Macaulay thought color might bring Cathedral to a new height. He was right. The story of how a cathedral is built is clear and concise. Even though the Chutreaux cathedral in Macaulay's story is fictional, the meticulously detailed diagrams used to build the medieval structure, are not. This book will make you look at these impossibly beautiful buildings in a completely new way. Yes, everyone knows cathedrals were built as houses of the lord, to praise and thank a certain god, but the messages hidden in the architecture are wonderful. For example, every window tells a different specific story. What is most amazing is how long it took to build Macaulay's fictional cathedral. It is easy to forget what a massive undertaking construction was during the thirteenth century. The roof alone wasn't finished for nine years and in that time the original master builder and Bishop Chutreaux both die and are replaced approximately at the same time. They never see the fruits of their labor. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Oct 15, 2020 |
A Caldecott Honor book ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
This book follows the story of a barely there narrative about the construction of a 13th century cathedral. A special focus is put on the tools and techniques used by the people involved addressing the engineering problems they faced and the variety of solutions they employed and the historical and technological context to those solutions. Several of the named characters die or significantly age over the course of the story to emphasize the time investment of the construction; and the change in the town as more workers and travelers and traders, artists and artisans are drawn to the construction shows the economic and some of the societal impact of cathedral even as it is being built. ( )
  jcook18 | May 28, 2019 |
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for Janice

with special thanks to Mary and Hardu
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For hundreds of years the people of Europe were taught by the church that God was the most important force in their lives.
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Text and detailed drawings follow the planning and construction of a magnificent Gothic cathedral in the imaginary French town of Chutreaux during the thirteenth century.

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