Gothic architecture originated and flourished during the high and late medieval period, originating in 12th-century France and continuing into the 16 century. Cathedrals present the most imposing and familiar form of Gothic architecture, partly because Gothic style sought to stir strong human emotions.
Gothic cathedrals emphasize vertical space and light. They are recognizable for their pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses (external arches that prop up the outer walls). The most famous Gothic cathedrals include Notre Dame de Paris, Notre-Dame de Chartres, and Salisbury Cathedral.
A few pages onward (section 7 of Part Three, p. 108, see Bookmark below), Franz spends some time in the Old Church (Oude Kerk) of Amsterdam, and the narrator notes some of its Gothic elements.