French Gothic architecture
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French Gothic architecture is a style of architecture prevalent in France from 1140 until about 1500.
Sequence of Gothic styles: France 
The designations of styles in French Gothic architecture are as follows:
These divisions are effective, but still set grounds for debate. Because the lengthy construction of Gothic cathedrals could span multiple architectural periods, and builders in each period did not always follow wishes of previous periods, dominant architectural style often changes throughout a particular building. Consequently, it is often difficult to declare one building as a member of a certain era of Gothic architecture. It is more useful to use the terms to describe specific elements within a structure, rather than applying them to the building as a whole.
Gothic styles 
Early Gothic 
This style began in 1140 and was characterized by the adoption of the pointed arch and transition from late Romanesque architecture. To heighten the wall, builders divided it into four tiers: arcade (arches and piers), gallery, triforium, and clerestorey. To support the higher wall builders invented the flying buttresses, which reached maturity only at High Gothic during the 13th century. The vaults were six ribbed sexpartite vaults.
High Gothic 
This 13th-century style canonized proportions and shapes from early Gothic and developed them further to achieve light, yet tall and majestic structures. The wall structure was modified from four to only three tiers: arcade, triforium, and clerestory. Piers coronations were smaller to avoid stopping the visual upward thrust. The clerestorey windows changed from one window in each segment, holed in the wall, to two windows united by a small rose window. The rib vault changed from six to four ribs. The flying buttresses matured, and after they were embraced at Notre-Dame de Paris and Notre-Dame de Chartres, they became the canonical way to support high walls, as they served both structural and ornamental purposes.
Notable structures 
- The east end of the Abbey Church of St Denis
- Sens Cathedral
- Notre-Dame of Laon
- The west facade of Chartres Cathedral
- Notre Dame de Paris (started 1163)
- Lyon Cathedral
- Toul Cathedral
- The main body of Chartres Cathedral (1194–1260)
- Amiens Cathedral
- Notre Dame de Paris
- Bourges Cathedral
- The north tower of Chartres Cathedral
- The rose window of Amiens Cathedral
- The west facade of Rouen Cathedral
- Church of St. Maclou, Rouen.
- The south transept of Beauvais Cathedral
In addition to these Gothic styles, there is another style called "Gothique Méridional" (or Southern Gothic, opposed to Gothique Septentrional or Northern Gothic). This style is characterised by a large nave and has no transept. Examples of this Gothic architecture would be:
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: French Gothic Architecture|
- Mapping Gothic France, a project by Columbia University and Vassar College with a database of images, 360° panoramas, texts, charts and historical maps