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NOVA | Building the Great Cathedrals
Watch Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at 9pm on WMHT TV.
How did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights using only hand tools to create the great cathedrals? The filmmakers behind NOVA’s award-winning documentary Secrets of the Parthenon take viewers on a dazzling new architectural journey, inside those majestic marvels and jewels of Gothic architecture. Carved from a 100 million pounds of stone and sometimes more than 100 years in the making, some now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues to how the dream of these temples of human achievement and artistry became a reality. NOVA teams perform hands-on experiments to learn the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their towering, glass-filled walls and reveal the hidden formulas, drawn from the Bible, that drove medieval builders ever upward.