Gothic architecture first got its name during the Italian renaissance when the people considered all buildings of the Middle Ages barbaric and associated them with the savage Goths. With the passing of many centuries, Gothic became more clearly associated with the closing era of the medieval age. In time, the separation point would set around the style, which followed, the Romanesque era. The title was later limited to the hardly barbaric architecture of the period between Romanesque and Renaissance.
Gothic architecture emerged from Romanesque architecture in the year 1144 AD. A Benedictine abbot called Suger was building a new church outside of Paris. He decided that he wanted something new and impressive. Suger wanted to make the Abby church of St. Denis so tall that it would seem to reach the heavens, and so amazing that everyone would remember it. When people saw this new form of architecture, they were amazed. The Gothic style quickly spread. Towns and cities would not let their churches be outdone by churches elsewhere. They tried to build taller, longer, and more stunning churches than any other.
All buildings reflect the society, which produced them, and cannot be understood without some knowledge of that society.
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