NOVA explores the architectural triumph of the great Gothic cathedrals.
Carved from a hundred million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spider web of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry. But how did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Consuming the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking a hundred years to build, these architectural marvels were crafted from just hand tools and stone. Many now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues to how the dream of these heavenly temples on earth came true. NOVA’s teams perform hands-on experiments to investigate and reveal the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their soaring, glass-filled walls in Building the Great Cathedrals, airing Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.
Please note that the date and time presented in this preview do not reflect our local broadcast schedule.
This program is offered with Descriptive Video (DVi), which provides concise descriptions of the sets, scenery, costumes, action, and other important visual elements between the dialogue of the program.