Gothic – 12th to 14th century
<!–^~^53|left|Chartres Cathedral^~^–><!–^~^54|right|St RÃˆmi Cathedral in Reims^~^–>During the Middle Ages the fortress style of the romanesque buildings was refined and improved by French masons and architects. The first Gothic buildings appeared in the late 12th with the rebuilding of the Basilica Saint Denis.
The main structural improvement of the gothic style lies in the use of arches to distibute the weight outward rather then straight down as with romanesque structures. As a result, Gothic buildings are taller with larger stain glass windows (hence brighter interiors) and highly ornamented. Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris is a perfect example of the Gothic style.