by David Macaulay

Hardcover, 2013



Local notes

726.6 Mac





HMH Books for Young Readers (2013), 80 pages


Text and detailed drawings follow the planning and construction of a magnificent Gothic cathedral in the imaginary French town of Chutreaux during the thirteenth century.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

80 p.; 8.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member jaimefabey
Cathedral is about the people in Chutreaux, France in the thirteenth century who built a cathedral to thank God for a good year. While this is an information book it is set almost like a picture book with intricate black and white sketch drawings and a story telling style about the people of the
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city and building the cathedral.
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LibraryThing member momma2
We really enjoy these books and the videos that are based on them as well. Even though the videos are older and aren't fabulous quality they are interesting stories that combine real footage of cathedrals with a fictional story. These are a wonderful way to look at history and math.
LibraryThing member dukefan86
Facinatingly detailed illustrations of a cathedral in different phases of development and construction! The text was informative, but a little dry at times.
LibraryThing member ChelseaLawler
I thought that this story was interesting. It was kind of long and not as captivating as some. It was full of information but it was a bit tough to stay interested. There are lots of fun classroom ideas that can come from this story though. So as long as I could keep my students interested then
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they could follow it up with fun projects. The artwork was a bit lack luster as well. There was very small black and white pictures in this.
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LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
Interesting! I do like Macaulay - he does a gorgeous job (as usual) of describing the structure of the cathedral from the concept and the foundations up to the arches of the roof, the spires, and the stained glass windows. And the illustrations are full of rich little bits - not just what the text
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is describing, but the birds in the roof, the way the houses change over the years, all the little details. Worth reading, worth rereading and spending some time examining each illustration in detail.
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LibraryThing member SeriousGrace
Originally published in black and white, Macaulay thought color might bring Cathedral to a new height. He was right. The story of how a cathedral is built is clear and concise. Even though the Chutreaux cathedral in Macaulay's story is fictional, the meticulously detailed diagrams used to build the
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medieval structure, are not. This book will make you look at these impossibly beautiful buildings in a completely new way. Yes, everyone knows cathedrals were built as houses of the lord, to praise and thank a certain god, but the messages hidden in the architecture are wonderful. For example, every window tells a different specific story. What is most amazing is how long it took to build Macaulay's fictional cathedral. It is easy to forget what a massive undertaking construction was during the thirteenth century. The roof alone wasn't finished for nine years and in that time the original master builder and Bishop Chutreaux both die and are replaced approximately at the same time. They never see the fruits of their labor.
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LibraryThing member nbmars
David Macauley has written a series of informative books about architectural wonders. Cathedral describes the construction of an imaginary cathedral in Chutreaux in France, in order to illustrate the methods of the actual construction of a Gothic cathedral, most of which were built between the 12th
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and 14th centuries in Europe. As he points out though, whereas his theoretical cathedral was built uninterrupted, in real life this was rarely the case: “owing to either financial or structural problems or both, the completion of may such undertakings was delayed for as long as two hundred years.”

A glossary is included in the back of the book.

Evaluation: This book will more than satisfy both kids and adults curious about the amazing steps taken to create such enormous buildings without any modern equipment. Fine pen and ink drawings add to understanding the process.
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LibraryThing member Paul_S
Same series as "City" and "Castle", the shortest one and therefore most abridged. The perspective is a bit out on the sketches on this one.
LibraryThing member mykl-s
Macaulay has a unique way of presenting the structures he draws in clear and understandable ways.






(204 ratings; 4.3)
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