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Modern Marvels: Cathedrals [VHS]

2.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews


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$5.63 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by Mayon Collectibles and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lloyd Sherr, Harlan Saperstein, Alexander B. Rubinow, William Atwater, Bill Ratner
  • Writers: Bruce Nash
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: November 11, 1998
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303937020
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,880 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Reaching heavenward, made of stone and glass, persistence and prayer, the Gothic cathedral stands as a rich and complex design devoted to the celebration of all we hold most sacred, an articulation of joy and accomplishment. From their immense buttresses to the intricacies of stained glass, from medieval France to Washington's National Cathedral, the engineering behind these great testaments to faith has not changed dramatically in 900 years. In 1891, Charles Glover Gathers, a prominent Washington banker, promoted the idea of a national cathedral as a moral center. Follow the construction of this massive cathedral surpassing even Notre Dame and Chartres in size and see how 12th and 20th Century methods were combined to raise 300 million pounds of limestone.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. S. Kaminski on August 31, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
"Modern Marvels/Gothic Cathedrals" tells the story behind the construction of Washington's National Cathedral. And I suppose I would have enjoyed the program more had I known that, but the title "Gothic Cathedrals" conjured up images about Notre Dame, Chartres and other masterpieces from the Middle Ages. While these were mentioned briefly, the focus on this program is squarely on the National Cathedral.
And the program does a good job explaining just how the Cathedral was built. From the foundations (25 feet under ground) to the still-unfinished stone carvings, one gets a complete picture of how the cathedral took shape.
I'd just recommend the title be changed to "Washington's National Cathedral" from "Gothic Cathedrals."
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Format: DVD
If you are an architecture fan and think you are going to get a thorough analysis of Gothic art and architecture, then this DVD is NOT for you.

The first 10 minutes are the only valuable ones of the show. They explain the philosophy behind building these massive structures and what they intended to portray with them in the XII Century. They give you the "basics" on what makes a Cathedral Gothic (the vaults, the pointed arches, the stained glass windows), the Gargoyles, the outside sculptures. They briefly describe you Notre Dame and Chartres in France.

Then the rest of the show talks about the National Cathedral in Washington DC, its history, its construction, its purpose, and what congregations are housed there. They spent so much time on it and the conversation went from its construction to the spiritual and patriotic significance of the Cathedral, which is all well and fine except I found it suitable as a documentary in itself. In other words, I didn't expect it as part of this title. I would have liked to hear more about the architectural features of other Cathedrals (say the York Minster in England, or Westmister Abbey, or the Cathedral in Cologne or any other for that matter). I felt cheated that I spent 45 minutes learning just about one Cathedral and its "meaning", which is rather subjective.

I normally love the History Channel documentaries but this one left me disappointed. They should have named it "A Contemporary Gothic Marvel: The National Cathedral in Washington DC" instead.
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Format: DVD
The title "Gothic Cathedrals" is misleading. Only the fist 10-15 minutes are spent on explaining the architecture and some of the (theological) meaning. However, only very few minutes are spent, for instance, on the Cathedral in Chartres - one of the most significant cathedrals. The main part (some 30+ minutes) deals with the National Cathedral in Washington DC, built in a "neogothic" style in the 20th century. If you seek information on gothic cathedrals in general, this video/dvd is a waste of time. Of you seek information on the National Cathedral it might be worth the while.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
We always liked the Modern Marvels series. Very informative and educational. While this one was good too, I wish they'd spent more time on the cathedrals around the world. They did seem to spend an excessive amount of time on the National Cathedral in the U.S. Not exactly the best example to use, but I guess since it's a U.S. series, they wanted to focus more on their own country. I was a little disappointed with that.
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