Civilopedia Entry Edit
Cathedrals are large, majestic religious buildings created by the faithful to display their devotion to their religion. Far bigger than mere temples, cathedrals may take decades - generations, even - to complete. (Note that the term "Cathedral" is used here to denote any especially impressive religious structure: the Buddhist "Great Stupa," for example, or the Islamic "Kaaba" in Mecca.)
- Cathedrals, thanks to the importance of the Church in medieval European life, were often the grandest and most advanced buildings of their time. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was one of the first buildings to employ the flying buttress, a medieval technique for evenly distributing the weight of massive structures.
- From 1300 until 1884, cathedrals were the tallest buildings on earth. Before that time, the Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest building in the world. After 1884, the world's tallest building was the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. At present and for the foreseeable future, office buildings are the tallest structures in the world.