history of the vaults (3 de 5) Print E-mail

[...] In spite of being totally stable, around the middle of the 11thcentury thick stone ribs are placed under their diagonal groins. This transcendental fact is not a solution to a stability problem, but it is rather an aesthetic feature: the stonemasonry enhanced the vault in a powerful way.
At present, the origin of this idea is an unanswered question. It is well known that in the Middle East, where wood is scarce, appeared the most diverse techniques to build vaulted structures without centerings. Most likely it is in that part of the world where vaults were built by starting from two arches which intersect in the centre. These arches divide the surface in four smaller parts which could easily be vaulted without any centering at all. [...]

Catedral de Ely Catedral de Gloucester