Frederick the Fair
Frederick the Handsome or the Fair, from the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria and Styria from 1308 as Frederick I as well as King of Germany from 1314 as Frederick III until his death. He was born in Vienna, the second son of King Albert I of Germany by his wife Elisabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol, a scion of the Meinhardiner dynasty, thereby a grandson of the first Habsburg king of Germany Rudolph I. Still a minor, he and his elder brother Rudolph III had been vested with the duchies of Austria and Styria by their father in 1298. Upon Rudolph's early death in 1307 and the assassination of his father in 1308, he became the ruler of the Austrian and Styrian duchies on behalf of himself and his younger brothers; the royal title held by his father and grandfather however passed to Count Henry VII of Luxembourg, elected by six of seven votes, contrived by the mighty Archchancellor Peter von Aspelt and Prince-Archbishop of Mainz, a fierce opponent of late King Albert. Frederick had to abjure all claims to the German crown and in turn received the official affirmation of his fiefs by King Henry.
He was a friend of his cousin Louis IV of Wittelsbach, raised at the Austrian court in Vienna. However, armed conflict arose between them when tutelage over the young sons of Louis' cousin, late Duke Stephen I of Lower Bavaria was entrusted to Frederick by local nobles in 1313. Frederick took the occasion to enlarge his reach of power, invaded the Bavarian lands, but was beaten by Louis at the Battle of Gammelsdorf on 9 November 1313, had to renounce the tutelage. Meanwhile, Henry VII had been crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Clement V on 29 June 1312, but he died in the following year; as his son John the Blind, King of Bohemia since 1310, seemed too powerful to the prince-electors, Frederick again became a candidate for the crown, while King John withdrew and backed Louis IV of Wittelsbach. On 19 October 1314 at Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen, Frederick received four out of seven votes, however two of them being contested, by Archbishop Henry II of Cologne, by Louis' brother Elector Palatine Rudolph I of Wittelsbach who did not want to support his younger brother, by the deposed King Henry of Bohemia and Duke Rudolph I of Saxe-Wittenberg.
The next day however, a second election was held upon the instigation of Archbishop Peter von Aspelt, where Louis IV of Wittelsbach was elected with the five votes by the Mainz archbishop himself, by Archbishop Baldwin of Trier, Margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg as well as by Duke John II of Saxe-Lauenburg and - again - the King of Bohemia, King John of Bohemia from the House of Luxemburg. It is clear. Louis made use of the conflict around the Bohemian throne and the rivalry over the Saxon electoral dignity between the Ascanian duchies of Saxe-Wittenberg and Saxe-Lauenburg. King Henry of Bohemia voting for Frederick only claimed the electoral power, as he had been deposed in 1310 by late King Henry's son John the Blind voting for Louis. Duke John II of Saxe-Lauenburg in turn sought to prevail against his cousin Duke Rudolph I of Saxe-Wittenberg - which failed as the 1338 Declaration of Rhense and the Golden Bull of 1356 conclusively named the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg as electors. Louis was crowned at Aachen Cathedral by Archbishop Peter von Aspelt, while Frederick was forced to proceed to Bonn Minster for his coronation on 25 November 1314 by the Cologne archbishop Heinrich von Virneburg.
Both tried for the support by the Imperial States. He was able to hold his ground against the Wittelsbach rival and after several years of bloody war, victory seemed to be within Frederick's grasp, as he was supported by the forces of his younger brother Leopold I. However, Frederick's army was in the end beaten near Mühldorf on Ampfing Heath on 28 September 1322, Frederick and 1,300 nobles from Austria and the allied Archbishopric of Salzburg were captured. Louis held Frederick captive at Trausnitz Castle in the Upper Palatinate for three years, but the persistent resistance by Frederick's brother Leopold, the retreat of King John of Bohemia from his alliance and a ban by Pope John XXII induced Louis to release him under the Treaty of Trausnitz of 13 March 1325. In this agreement, Frederick recognized Louis as legitimate ruler and undertook to return to captivity if he did not succeed in convincing his younger brothers to submit to Louis; as he did not manage to overcome Leopold's obstinacy, Frederick returned to Munich as a prisoner though the Pope had released him from his oath.
Impressed by Frede
Henry of Bohemia
Henry of Carinthia, a member of the House of Gorizia, was Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Carniola as well as Count of Tyrol from 1295 until his death. He became King of Bohemia, Margrave of Moravia and titular King of Poland in 1306 and again from 1307 until 1310. Henry was a younger son of Count Meinhard II of Görz-Tyrol and the Wittelsbach princess Elisabeth, the daughter of Duke Otto II of Bavaria and widow of the Hohenstaufen king Conrad IV of Germany. Upon the partition of the Meinhardiner estates in 1271, his father maintained the Tyrolean lands, while Henry's uncle Albert received the County of Gorizia. In 1276 Count Meinhard married his eldest daughter, Henry's sister Elizabeth, to Albert of Habsburg, son of King Rudolph I of Germany, in turn was enfeoffed with the princeless Duchy of Carinthia in 1286. After his father's death in late October 1295, Henry inherited the Carinthian estates. At first he ruled jointly with his brothers Louis, until he outlived them, he secured his position by supporting his brother-in-law Albert I of Habsburg, who thereby was able to defeat rivalling Adolf of Nassau at the 1298 Battle of Göllheim and was elected King of the Romans in the same year.
He helped King Albert and his Wittelsbach ally Louis IV to lay siege against Louis' revolting brother Rudolf I of the Palatinate at his Heidelberg residence in 1301. However tensions with the House of Habsburg arose, when in 1306 Duke Henry married the Přemyslid princess Anne, the elder sister of King Wenceslaus III of Bohemia. In the same year, the Bohemian ruler prepared for a military campaign against Poland and appointed his brother-in-law regent. Upon Wenceslaus' assassination on August 4, the Přemyslids became extinct in the male line and Henry was elected his successor by the Bohemian nobility—against the will of his former ally King Albert I of Germany, who intended to install his eldest son Rudolf of Habsburg on the Bohemian throne. King Albert's troops campaigned Bohemia, besieged Prague Castle and deposed Henry, who had to yield to their superior forces. Rudolf of Habsburg was never accepted by the Bohemian nobles, after his sudden death on 4 July 1307, Henry was elected King of Bohemia again, on 15 August.
Another attack by King Albert was rejected and the threat by the Habsburg dynasty fell apart with Albert's assassination by his nephew John in 1308. Henry was now on par with the most powerful dynasties in the Empire, his rule was not stabilized: as he turned out to be a weak and wasteful ruler, the Bohemian nobility began to look for a capable successor. Meanwhile, the new German king Henry VII, a member of the House of Luxembourg had cast a covetous eye on the Bohemian kingdom. In 1310 Henry VII arranged the marriage of his eldest son John with Elizabeth, the younger sister of the late King Wenceslaus III. Backed by local nobles and his father, John's troops campaigned Bohemia in October, he captured Prague on 3 December and deposed Henry for the second time while the German king seized the Bohemian fief and ceded it his son John, crowned king the next year. Henry was forced to retire to Carinthia, where his wife Anna died without children in 1313. Henry at least managed to retain Carinthia and Tyrol by reconciliation with the Habsburg dynasty, ceding the Savinja Valley to their Styrian duchy.
He was not able to acquire the Carinthian estates that were held by the Prince-Bishops of Bamberg with the consent of Emperor Henry VII. On the other hand, he could reinforce his overlordship in Tyrol against the resistance of the Trient and Brixen prince-bishops. Despite his deposition, Henry insisted on the title of a "King of Bohemia" and the involved electoral dignity: he took part in the 1314 double election of the rex Romanorum at Frankfurt, voting for the Habsburg candidate Frederick the Fair, his contested right to vote was one of the reasons for the ambiguous result, as Henry's rival, the Luxembourg king John, gave his Bohemian vote to Louis IV of Wittelsbach. After Louis' victory in the 1322 Battle of Mühldorf, Henry helped to arrange an amicable settlement between the competitors. Henry reconciled with the Luxembourgs and in 1330 married his daughter Margaret off to King John's son John Henry. Since he was the last male heir of the Tyrolean branch of the Meinhardiner dynasty, he attempted to maintain their possessions, but failed.
Though Emperor Louis IV, in return for Henry's mediation in the dispute with Frederick the Fair, had assured him in 1330 that his daughter could succeed him, Louis reneged on his promise in a secret treaty with the House of Habsburg in the same year. After Henry's death in 1335, the Habsburg duke Albert II of Austria and his brother Otto took control of Carinthia and Carniola. Henry's daughter Margaret could only succeed him in Tyrol with the support of the local nobles; the Gorizia branch of the Meinhardiner dnyasty ruled their county until the extinction of the line 1500, wherafter the estates likweise fell to the Habsburgs. Henry was married three times: In 1306, he married Anna Přemyslovna; this marriage produced no children. In 1313, he wed Adelaide of daughter of the Welf duke Henry I of Brunswick-Grubenhagen; this marriage produced two daughters: Adelaide. Margaret "Maultasch", Countess of Tyrol from 1335 to 1363. In 1327, he married daughter of Count Amadeus V of Savoy; this marriage produced no children.
Marek, Miroslav. "Genealogy of
Habsburg Castle is a medieval fortress located in Habsburg, Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, near the Aar River. At the time of its construction, the location was part of the Duchy of Swabia. Habsburg Castle is the originating seat of the House of Habsburg, which became one of the leading imperial and royal dynasties in Europe, it is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance. Around 1020–1030, Count Radbot, of the nearby county of Klettgau in the Duchy of Swabia, had the castle erected 35 km southwest of Klettgau, on the Aar, the largest tributary of the High Rhine, it is believed. Some historians and linguists believe the name may come from the Middle High German word hab/hap meaning ford, as it is located near a ford of the Aar River. Radbot's grandson, Otto II, was the first to take the Habsburg Castle name as his own, adding "von Habsburg" to his title and creating the House of Habsburg. Habsburg Castle's importance diminished after Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph moved the family's power base to Austria in 1276.
Habsburg Castle remained property of the House of Habsburg until 1415, when Duke Frederick IV of Austria lost the canton of Aargau to the Swiss Confederacy. The original coat of arms to fly over Habsburg Castle, a red lion on a golden field, remained part of the Austrian arms up to the end of the imperial period; the modern arms of the municipality of Habsburg, depict Habsburg Castle. The area around the castle was covered by forests that were only cleared around 1500, nearly half a millennium after Habsburg Castle was first constructed. Today the "large" and "small" towers of the original castle are preserved, attached to a residential building of the 13th century, while large parts of the complex lie in ruins; the extent of its eastern part is recognizable only by foundation walls. The palatial residence hosts a small exhibition. Media related to Habsburg Castle at Wikimedia Commons
Philip VI of France
Philip VI, called the Fortunate and of Valois, was the first King of France from the House of Valois. He reigned from 1328 until his death. Philip's reign was dominated by the consequences of a succession dispute; when King Charles IV died without a male heir in 1328, the nearest male relative was his maternal nephew Edward III of England. It was held in France, that Edward was ineligible to inherit the French throne through the female line according to the ancient Salic Law. Philip, being Charles IV's cousin in the male line, acceded instead. At first, Edward seemed to accept the Valois succession to the crown, but he pressed his claim to the throne of France after a series of disagreements with Philip; the result was the beginning of the Hundred Years' War in 1337. After initial successes at sea, Philip's navy was annihilated at the Battle of Sluys in 1340, ensuring that the war would occur on the continent; the English took another decisive advantage at the Battle of Crécy, while the Black Death struck France, further destabilizing the country.
In 1349, Philip VI bought the Dauphiné from its ruined ruler Humbert II and entrusted the government of this province to his grandson Charles. Philip VI was succeeded by his son John II, the Good. Little is recorded about Philip's childhood and youth, in large part because he was of minor royal birth. Philip's father Charles, Count of Valois, the younger brother of King Philip IV of France, had striven throughout his life to gain a throne for himself but was never successful, he died in 1325, leaving his eldest son Philip as heir to the counties of Anjou and Valois. In 1328, Philip's first cousin Charles IV died without a son and with his widow Jeanne d'Évreux pregnant. Philip was one of the two chief claimants to the throne; the other was King Edward III of England, the son of Charles's sister Isabella and his closest male relative. The question arose whether Isabella should have been able to transmit a claim that she herself did not possess; the assemblies of the French barons and prelates and the University of Paris decided that males who derive their right to inheritance through their mother should be excluded according to Salic law.
As Philip was the eldest grandson of Philip III of France through the male line, he became regent instead of Edward, a matrilineal grandson of Philip IV of France and great-grandson of Philip III. During the period in which Charles IV's widow was waiting to deliver her child, Philip rose to the regency with support of the French magnates, following the pattern set up by Philip V's succession over his niece Joan II of Navarre, he formally held the regency from 9 February 1328 until 1 April, when Jeanne d'Évreux gave birth to a girl, named Blanche. Upon this birth, Philip was named king and crowned at the Cathedral in Reims on 29 May 1328. After his elevation to the throne, Philip sent the Abbot of Fécamp, Pierre Roger, to summon Edward III of England to pay homage for the duchy of Aquitaine and Gascony. After a subsequent second summons from Philip, Edward arrived at the Cathedral of Amiens on 6 June 1329 and worded his vows in such a way to cause more disputes in years; the dynastic change had another consequence: Charles IV had been King of Navarre, unlike the crown of France, the crown of Navarre was not subject to Salic Law.
Philip VI was neither an heir nor a descendant of Joan I of Navarre, whose inheritance had been in personal union with the crown of France for fifty years and had long been administered by the same royal machinery established by Philip IV, the father of French bureaucracy. These counties were entrenched in the economic and administrative entity of the crown lands of France, being located adjacent to Île-de-France. Philip, was not entitled to that inheritance. Navarre thus passed to Joan II, with whom Philip struck a deal regarding the counties in Champagne: she received vast lands in Normandy in compensation, he kept Champagne as part of the French crown lands. Philip's reign was plagued with crises, although it began with a military success in Flanders at the Battle of Cassel, where Philip's forces re-seated Louis I, Count of Flanders, unseated by a popular revolution. Philip's wife, the able Joan the Lame, gave the first of many demonstrations of her competence as regent in his absence. Philip enjoyed amicable relations with Edward III, they planned a crusade together in 1332, never executed.
However, the status of the Duchy of Aquitaine remained a sore point, tension increased. Philip provided refuge for David II of Scotland in 1334 and declared himself champion of his interests, which enraged Edward. By 1336, they were enemies, although not yet at war. Philip prevented an arrangement between the Avignon papacy and Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV, although in July 1337 Louis concluded an alliance with Edward III; the final breach with England came when Edward offered refuge to Robert III of Artois one of Philip's trusted advisers, after Robert committed forgery to try to obtain an inheritance. As relations between Philip and Edward worsened, Robert's standing in England strengthened. On 26 December 1336, Philip demanded the extradition of Robert to France. On 24 May 1337, Philip declared that Edward had forfeited Aquitaine for disobedience and for sheltering the "king's mortal enemy", Robert of Artois, thus began the Hundred Years' War, complicated by Edward's
Louis V, Duke of Bavaria
Louis V, called the Brandenburger, a member of the House of Wittelsbach, ruled as Margrave of Brandenburg from 1323 to 1351 and as Duke of Bavaria from 1347 until his death. From 1342 he was co-ruling Count of Tyrol by his marriage with the Meinhardiner countess Margaret. Louis V was the eldest son of King Louis IV and his first wife, the Piast princess Beatrice of Świdnica, his father, Duke of Bavaria since 1294, had been elected King of the Romans in 1314, rivalled by the Habsburg anti-king Frederick the Fair. He had to defend his rights in a lengthy throne quarrel defeated Frederick's forces in the 1322 Battle of Mühldorf, in 1328 received the Imperial crown. Upon his victory at Mühldorf, the king took the occasion to seize the princeless Margraviate of Brandenburg, where the last Ascanian ruler Henry the Child had died without heirs in 1320. Ignoring the claims raised by Henry's Ascanian relative Duke Rudolf I of Saxe-Wittenberg, a supporter of his Habsburg rival anyway, he appointed his eldest son Louis margrave in 1323.
Still a minor, he remained under tutelage of Count Berthold VII of Henneberg, who acted as a Brandenburg regent. Duke Rudolf I in late 1324 renounced the Brandenburg estates in turn for a compensation. To further strengthen the rule of the Wittelsbach dynasty in Northern Germany, Margrave Louis was married to Princess Margaret, the eldest daughter of King Christopher II of Denmark, in 1324; the Wittelsbach rule in Brandenburg never earned much popular support. As a consequence of the murder of Provost Nikolaus von Bernau by Berlin and Cölln citizens in 1325, the twin-town was punished with a papal interdict. Subsequently, the public unrest led to a resurgence of the centuries-long Brandenburg–Pomeranian conflict from 1328 onwards; the Pomeranian dukes had to withdraw from the Uckermark region after a series of battles throughout the late 1320s and early 1330s. In 1330, they took their duchy as a papal fief to circumvent the Brandenburg claims. In 1338, they concluded a peace with the Wittelsbach margrave, who renounced his claims on overlordship but maintained the right of succession.
Having received the Brandenburg princely territory as a fiefdom, Louis contributed to the 1338 Declaration at Rhense, emphasizing his father's rights against the interference by Pope Benedict XII. In 1340, he and Count John III of Holstein backed Valdemar IV, brother of Louis' wife Margaret, to succeed to the Danish throne; the House of Wittelsbach maintained good relations to the Danish court after Margaret's death in the same year. From 1342 onwards, Margrave Louis stayed in Bavaria and Tyrol. On 10 February 1342, he married the Tyrolean countess Margaret, in order to acquire her estates for the Wittelsbach family; the year before Margaret had expelled her husband from Tyrol. John Henry was a son of King John I of Bohemia, who had deposed Margaret's father, Henry of Gorizia-Tyrol as King of Bohemia in 1310. While Emperor Louis IV had the scholars William of Ockham and Marsilius of Padua defend this first "civil marriage" of the Middle Ages, Pope Clement VI, however excommunicated the couple and the scandal was known across Europe.
Though Tyrol was punished with a papal interdict, the Bishops of Brixen and Trent objected to Louis' rule, the Wittelsbachs were able to gain the support of the local nobles by granting them numerous privileges. When his father died in October 1347, Louis succeeded him as Duke of Bavaria as well as Count of Holland and Hainaut, together with his five brothers. On 12 September 1349, Bavaria and the Wittelsbach possessions in the Low Countries were partitioned: Margrave Louis and his younger brothers Louis VI the Roman and Otto V the Bavarian received Upper Bavaria. Still banned, Margrave Louis could not apply for the German crown and his party tried to move the Wettin margrave Frederick II of Meissen to the acceptance of the royal title, however, he mistrusted the inconstancy of his voters and rejected the request. Louis negotiated with his father's ally King Edward III of England to compete against the new Luxembourg king Charles IV, the elder brother of Margaret's husband John Henry. Edward resigned just four months later.
The Wittelsbach party elected Count Günther von Schwarzburg as anti-king in 1349. Louis V resisted Charles IV though Günther von Schwarzburg's kingship failed, he managed to keep all possessions for the Wittelsbach dynasty until his death. First Louis repulsed an attack of Charles IV against Tyrol in 1347. In alliance with Denmark and Pomerania, he drove back a revolt in 1348 - 1350 caused by the conman "False Waldemar," an imposter who pretended to be Waldemar, Margrave of Brandenburg, claiming he had been declared dead erroneously while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. A strawman of the Luxembourg emperor Charles IV, and/or the Anhalt and Saxon branches of the House of Ascania, he was invested with the margraviate between 1348 and 1350, took on his position as a margrave with military support of Charles IV and the Ascanians; the Wittelsbachs were expelled from most of Brandenburg and only controlled the Neumark territory and some adjacent areas. Together with Denmark, the Pomeranian dukes sided with the Wittelsbachs, the alliance had gained ground in 1350 when the conflict ended With the Treaty of Bautzen: Louis came to terms with Charles IV, who re-invested
Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich; the municipality has 409,000 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the busiest in the country. Permanently settled for over 2,000 years, Zürich was founded by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. However, early settlements have been found dating back more than 6,400 years ago. During the Middle Ages, Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, became a primary centre of the Protestant Reformation in Europe under the leadership of Huldrych Zwingli; the official language of Zürich is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect, Zürich German. Many museums and art galleries can be found in the city, including the Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus.
Schauspielhaus Zürich is one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world. Zürich is a leading global city and among the world's largest financial centres despite having a small population; the city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking companies. Most of Switzerland's research and development centres are concentrated in Zürich and the low tax rates attract overseas companies to set up their headquarters there. Monocle's 2012 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Zürich first on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within". According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zürich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe in terms of GDP per capita; the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking sees Zürich rank among the top ten most liveable cities in the world. In German, the city name is written Zürich, pronounced in Swiss Standard German. In Zürich German, the local dialect of Swiss German, the name is pronounced without the final consonant, as Züri, although the adjective remains Zürcher.
The city is called Zurich in French, Zurigo in Italian, Turitg in Romansh. In English, the name used to be written without the umlaut. So, standard English practice for German calques is to either preserve the umlaut or replace it with the base letter followed by e, it is pronounced ZEWR-ik, more sometimes with /ts/, as in German. The earliest known form of the city's name is Turicum, attested on a tombstone of the late 2nd century AD in the form STA TURICEN; the name is interpreted as a derivation from a given name Gaulish personal name Tūros, for a reconstructed native form of the toponym of *Turīcon. The Latin stress on the long vowel of the Gaulish name, was lost in German but is preserved in Italian and in Romansh; the first development towards its Germanic form is attested as early as the 6th century with the form Ziurichi. From the 9th century onward, the name is established in an Old High German form Zurih. In the early modern period, the name became associated with the name of the Tigurini, the name Tigurum rather than the historical Turicum is sometimes encountered in Modern Latin contexts.
Settlements of the Neolithic and Bronze Age were found around Lake Zürich. Traces of pre-Roman Celtic, La Tène settlements were discovered near the Lindenhof, a morainic hill dominating the SE - NW waterway constituted by Lake Zurich and the river Limmat. In Roman times, during the conquest of the alpine region in 15 BC, the Romans built a castellum on the Lindenhof. Here was erected Turicum, a tax-collecting point for goods trafficked on the Limmat, which constituted part of the border between Gallia Belgica and Raetia: this customs point developed into a vicus. After Emperor Constantine's reforms in AD 318, the border between Gaul and Italy was located east of Turicum, crossing the river Linth between Lake Walen and Lake Zürich, where a castle and garrison looked over Turicum's safety; the earliest written record of the town dates from the 2nd century, with a tombstone referring to it as to the Statio Turicensis Quadragesima Galliarum, discovered at the Lindenhof. In the 5th century, the Germanic Alemanni tribe settled in the Swiss Plateau.
The Roman castle remained standing until the 7th century. A Carolingian castle, built on the site of the Roman castle by the grandson of Charlemagne, Louis the German, is mentioned in 835. Louis founded the Fraumünster abbey in 853 for his daughter Hildegard, he endowed the Benedictine convent with the lands of Zürich and the Albis forest, granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct authority. In 1045, King Henry III granted the convent the right to hold markets, collect tolls, mint coins, thus made the abbess the ruler of the city. Zürich gained Imperial immediacy in 1218 with the extinction of the main line of the Zähringer family and attained a status comparable to statehood. During the 1230s, a city wall was built, enclosing 38 hectares, when the earliest stone houses on the Rennweg were built as well; the Carolingian castle was used as a quarry, as it had st
Gothic architecture is a style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France, it was used for cathedrals and churches, until the 16th century, its most prominent features included the use of the rib vault and the flying buttress, which allowed the weight of the roof to be counterbalanced by buttresses outside the building, giving greater height and more space for windows. Another important feature was the extensive use of stained glass, the rose window, to bring light and color to the interior. Another feature was the use of realistic statuary on the exterior over the portals, to illustrate biblical stories for the illiterate parishioners; these technologies had all existed in Romanesque architecture, but they were used in more innovative ways and more extensively in Gothic architecture to make buildings taller and stronger. The first notable example is considered to be the Abbey of Saint-Denis, near Paris, whose choir and facade were reconstructed with Gothic features.
The choir was completed in 1144. The style appeared in some civic architecture in northern Europe, notably in town halls and university buildings. A Gothic revival began in mid-18th-century England, spread through 19th century Europe and continued for ecclesiastical and university structures, into the 20th century. Gothic architecture was known during the period as opus francigenum, The term "Gothic architecture" originated in the 16th century, was very negative, suggesting barbaric. Giorgio Vasari used the term "barbarous German style" in his 1550 Lives of the Artists to describe what is now considered the Gothic style, in the introduction to the Lives he attributed various architectural features to "the Goths" whom he held responsible for destroying the ancient buildings after they conquered Rome, erecting new ones in this style; the Gothic style originated in the Ile-de-France region of northern France in the first half of the 12th century. A new dynasty of French Kings, the Capetians, had subdued the feudal lords, had become the most powerful rulers in France, with their capital in Paris.
They allied themselves with the bishops of the major cities of northern France, reduced the power of the feudal abbots and monasteries. Their rise coincided with an enormous growth of the population and prosperity of the cities of northern France; the Capetian Kings and their bishops wished to build new cathedrals as monuments of their power and religious faith. The church which served as the primary model for the style was the Abbey of St-Denis, which underwent reconstruction by the Abbot Suger, first in the choir and the facade, Suger was a close ally and biographer of the French King, Louis VII, a fervent Catholic and builder, the founder of the University of Paris. Suger remodeled the ambulatory of the Abbey, removed the enclosures that separated the chapels, replaced the existing structure with imposing pillars and rib vaults; this created higher and wider bays, into which he installed larger windows, which filled the end of the church with light. Soon afterwards he rebuilt the facade, adding three deep portals, each with a tympanum, an arch filled with sculpture illustrating biblical stories.
The new facade was flanked by two towers. He installed a small circular rose window over the central portal; this design became the prototype for a series of new French cathedrals. Sens Cathedral was the first Cathedral to be built in the new style. Other versions of the new style soon appeared in Noyon Cathedral; the Gothic style was adapted by some French monastic orders, notably the Cistercian order under Saint Bernard of Clairvaux It was used in an austere form without ornament at the new Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay and the church of Clairvaux Abbey, whose site is now occupied by a French prison. The new style was copied outside the Kingdom of France in the Duchy of Normandy. Early examples of Norman Gothic included Coutances Cathedral. Through the rule of the Angevin dynasty, the new style was introduced to England and spread from there to Low Countries, Spain, northern Italy and Sicily; the Gothic style did not replace the Romanesque everywhere in Europe. The Late Romanesque continued to flourish in the Holy Roman Empire under the Hohenstaufens and Rhineland.
From the end of the 12th century until the middle of the 13th century, the gothic style spread from the Île-de-France to appear in other cities of northern France. New structures in the style included Chartres Cathedral; the early type of rib vault used of Saint Denis and Notre Dame, with six parts, was modified to four parts, making it simpler and stronger. Amiens and Chartres were among the first to use the flying buttress. At Reims, the buttresses were given greater weight and strength by the addition of heavy stone pinnacles on top; these were decorated with statues of ange