autun cathedral

The archictects in Burgundy, arrived with a more elegant solution for the problem of supporting the weight of the nave vault while allowing enough light to enter the church. The galleries have been replaced by a clerestory, which allows way more light than galleries and a narrow “blind” arcade, which no longer admit any light because it is not needed. The arches and supports of Autun Cathedral only serve as a decorative purpose. Those kind of arcade are called triforium, because it has three openings per bay. This elevation was made possible by the use of pointed arch for the nave vault, probably brought from Islamic architecture. By cutting the center part of the round arch, which responds the most to the pull of gravity, the two halves of a pointed arch embrace each other, exerting less exterior pressure than the semicircular arch. It can also be made as high as possible, and it walls can be pierced as well. The light plays a more active role in illuminating and defining space. With this discovery, advances were possible to make possible the soaring churches of the Gothic period.