Cover image for Great cathedrals
Great cathedrals
Schütz, Bernhard.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Grosse Kathedralen des Mittelalters. English
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2002.
Physical Description:
472 pages : illustrations (some color), map, plans ; 34 cm
General Note:
English translation of: Grosse Kathedralen des Mittelalters.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA5453 .S39 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



From Chartres, whose stained-glass windows create patterns of light that seem truly mystical, to the Cathedral of Florence, whose soaring dome has been called "one of the engineering marvels of all time, " this glorious art book covers the major Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals in France, England, Germany, Italy, and Spain. 310 photos.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

There are European cathedrals in almost every architectural style, including Romanesque, Baroque and Renaissance. But it is the Gothic style, perfected during the Late Middle Ages, that has come to epitomize the essence of the continent's truly great cathedrals. In this book, Schutz, an architectural historian at the University of Munich, explores the towering Gothic cathedrals of France, England, Spain, Italy and Germany, all nations of the former Holy Roman Empire. Schutz explains the complex structure of Gothic design, in which the most imposing edifices are "mere frameworks" whose soaring lines appear to belie the laws of gravity. Schutz's text is strong on architectural detail but weak on the social upheavals and theological transformations that marked the centuries he describes. However, this is a very useful art book, complemented as it is by 310 photographs and illustrations, 270 of them in full color, many of them full-page. The photographs by Albert Hirmer, Florian Monheim and Joseph Martin mix attention to detail (stained-glass windows at Strasbourg, the cloisters at Gloucester) with a fine sense of the whole. Here we see the glories of Chartres, Notre Dame and Reims cathedrals in France; Canterbury and Salisbury in England; and the Italian gems at Milan and Venice. This sumptuous book will make a lovely gift for spiritual pilgrims, art aficionados and armchair travelers alike. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The main attraction here is the inclusion of 270 crisp, oversized color plates, which capture Gothic structures from every angle, supplemented by historic, undated photos of cathedrals and their artworks and decorations. Schutz (emeritus, Univ. of Munich), a noted German authority on medieval and Baroque architecture, covers five to eight cathedrals each in France, England, Spain, Germany, and Italy. The text, though spare and basic, is illuminating. Churches in each country are introduced by a chapter-length essay and a map that notes locations. Sections on the cathedrals include an overview, floor plans, and magnificent plates. The illustrated glossary of cathedral terms and short bibliography are useful. The dilemma for selectors is determining whether their library needs another medieval cathedrals parade of greatest hits. Anne Prache's Cathedrals of Europe offers a broader and more in-depth historical survey of cathedral culture. For purely artistic and aesthetic appreciation, however, Schutz's entry merits consideration.-Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.