The Salisbury Cathedral was built before the city around it was built up. Therefore, when you look at it in present times… it’s a landmark for the majestic cathedral that it was intended to be. The Amiens however, was built after the city was already built up. Therefore, it was “carved out of its surroundings”. Visually, you can see the differences in background by the simple fact that Amiens is less spread out and more built up than Salisbury. Salisbury has a freedom in its design that Amiens doesn’t possess. It has the courtyard to the side, which emphasizes its ability to take advantage of the land.
Salisbury Cathedral & Duomo Cathedral: Impressions
Salisbury and Duomo speak very different visual design languages. Duomo speaks a very Italianesque language of bold colors and visuals that tell a story, especially in the dome, which is a traditional technique of Italian architecture. Duomo emphasized the perfection of the circle throughout, but much like Salisbury… it includes the narrow nave to impact the scale of human interaction and to show the importance of their spiritual and religious beliefs. However, the opposite effect happens here in the sense that Salisbury’s nave is decorated with colorful images but Duomo’s seems as if it is less important than the dome and is completed with a off-white wash. In historic times, these cathedrals were probably more alike than they are today. Salisbury’s external materials were more polychromatic compared to the monochromatic nature that they are today.
Salisbury Cathedral & Cologne Cathedral: Light
Light is an important factor when it comes to religious dwellings. The religious experience can be made by something as simple (or complicated) as lighting. In Cologne and Salisbury alike, your eye is directed by light. The architects of these buildings were well aware of this so they included things like stained glass windows, clerestory windows, and different angles for light to reflect off of. The circular section of Cologne allows an immense amount of light to pour in, which directs the people towards the front of the cathedral. Whereas Salisbury just has it’s rectangular windows all around the facades and darker nooks and crannies where the ‘cross’ happens.
This image depicts what a 'day in the life' in the middle ages would be like. If you could see the rest of the image, it would entail something like this... this room, probably a kitchen, would be separate from the main house (until construction becomes more developed), and probably made of wood timbers. The rectangular openings in the background are windows, which were typically high slits, but they typically vary in size and shape. When construction develops, however, these structures would be made of stone or brick and would more than likely be included with the main structure, most likely a castle. In the middle ages, people were more concerned about attacks and fortifying their establishments more than decorating their interiors with lavish things, like we see in some other time periods, which may explain the bare walls and minimalist nature of this scene.