A glorious illustrated history of twenty of the world's greatest cathedrals, interwoven with the extraordinary stories of the people who built them.
Heaven on Earth covers an entire millennium of cathedral-building from c. AD 500 to the sixteenth century. The central core of Emma Wells's book focuses on the explosion of ecclesial construction that began with the emergence of the Gothic style in twelfth-century France, which produced such remarkable structures as the cathedrals of Notre-Dame, Canterbury, Chartres, Salisbury, St Mark's Basilica in Venice and the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. From Constantinople's Hagia Sophia to London's Westminster Abbey, from Florence's Duomo to St Basil's in Moscow, Emma Wells tells the story of the feats of engineering that brought twenty great cathedrals into being.
More than architectural biographies, these are human stories of triumph and tragedy that take the reader from the chaotic atmosphere of the mason's yard to the cloisters of power. Together, they reveal how 1000 years of cathedral-building shaped modern Europe, and influenced art, culture and society around the world.
'This book is an exhortation to explore our history, architecture and culture through seven historic pilgrim routes. Take it up with your staff' John Goodall, Architectural Editor, Country Life.
'A beautifully written and hugely useful book' Janina Ramirez