The Splendour of Cathedrals in Europe

Ref: C3742720

A full introduction to the course will set out the place of the cathedrals of mainland Europe in the development of medieval and Renaissance architecture. We will look at case studies in France including Notre Dame in Paris, and the great cathedral of Chartres. In Italy we will investigate Milan, St Peters in Rome, and Florence with the remarkable achievement of its dome. We will consider cathedrals in Germany including Cologne, and in Spain including Toledo and Santiago de Compostela. We will conclude with a summarisation of the course and a final discussion of findings.

Course aim

To examine some of the greatest cathedrals in mainland Europe, including Paris, Florence, Toledo and Cologne and consider how they developed through the medieval period and beyond.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise and describe the key architectural styles of the cathedrals considered.
  • Recognise and explain three of the contrasts and similarities in architecture in the countries considered.
  • Be able to explain some of the features of the development of design from that of the medieval master masons to that of the architects of the Renaissance.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Presentations with images and provision of colour notes for each session

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Possible visits to see and study the cathedrals included in the course, or to compare them with cathedrals in England.

Download full course information sheet

The Splendour of Cathedrals in Europe


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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