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flying buttress
August 3

Essentially a type of half arch, a 'flying buttress' or arc-boutant, is a slender masonry structure that transfers the outward thrust of the vaults and arches at the upper portion of a wall to a massive pier below. Used in great Gothic cathedrals such as Chartres Cathedral and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the flying buttress allowed master builders to create taller and visually lighter structures that reached toward the heavens... complete with expanses of openings unencumbered by the immense thickness of load bearing masonry walls.


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