When was Gothic architecture most popular?
Gothic architecture was architectural style in Europe that lasted from the mid-12th century to the 16th century, particularly a style of masonry building characterized by cavernous spaces with the expanse of walls broken up by overlaid tracery. With the development of Renaissance architecture in Italy during the mid 15th century, the Gothic style was supplanted by the new style, but in some regions, notably England and Belgium, Gothic continued to flourish and develop into the 16th century.
In the 12th–13th century, feats of engineering permitted increasingly gigantic buildings. The rib vault, flying buttress, and pointed (Gothic) arch were used as solutions to the problem of building a very tall structure while preserving as much natural light as possible. Stained-glass window panels rendered startling sun-dappled interior effects.
The Gothic style of architecture was strongly influenced by the Romanesque architecture which preceded it; by the growing population and wealth of European cities, and by the desire to express local and national grandeur. It was also influenced by theological doctrines which called for more light.