Many buildings, mansions, and castles from the 19th century are not Gothic but actually Gothic Revival buildings. Gothic Revival was an architectural movement that started in the late 1840s in Europe. Architects of the time wanted to return to the time when buildings were tall, grandiose, and highly imposing. These Gothic Revival buildings are some of the best examples of their effort.
Strawberry Hill House / England
One of the first Gothic Revival buildings in the world is the Strawberry Hill House. The house was built even before the movement had an official name. Moreover, it belonged to Horace Walpole the author of The Castle of Otranto, which is what many call the first Gothic novel. Walpole also was a collector of rare artifacts which he exhibited in his house.
Since it was one of the first examples of the movement, the house became an inspiration for others. Many upper-class English started to build their houses and mansions according to the house of Walpole. Although it is a product of the Gothic mindset, the house looks serene and cozy. While Walpole’s artifacts are in another location, the Strawberry Hill House still stands
The Palace of Westminster / England
The Palace of Westminster, known as the Houses of Parliament, is the most important place for British politics. Its construction started towards the end of 1835. While there was a building in its place, it burnt during a fire and the government needed a new building. The architects of the palace actually had to win a competition to realize their Gothic Revival design.
The Palace of Westminster is undoubtedly one of England’s best Gothic Revival buildings. However, it also mixes the movement with Medieval Architecture as well. Stained glasses, carvings, ornaments, and the height of the towers all make the palace a magnificent place. Moreover, there are murals and paintings of former British monarchs and frescoes of the Arthurian legend.
Neuschwanstein Castle / Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the Gothic Revival buildings that have an interesting story behind them. In the 1860s, Ludwig II was the king of Bavaria. During that time, Austrians and Prussians went to war. While Ludwig supported the Austrians, they lost and he lost with them. Although this loss was one of the biggest steps for the unification of Germany under Bismarck, it broke Ludwig completely.
After losing his power, Ludwig wanted to escape from the world’s troubles. Therefore, he started to build himself a castle in a remote location in Bavaria. As he lost control over his kingdom, he wanted to make himself a new one where he would not lose his power ever. The castle was his home for most of his life after the war and until his death.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus / India
In the 19th century, when the Gothic Revival was at its prime in England, India was a colony of the British. Therefore, they brought the movement with them to India as well. In Mumbai, then Bombay, the Brits built a new terminal and named it the Victoria Terminal in honor of Queen Victoria. In the 1990s, the Indian government changed the terminal’s name this time in honor of Emperor Shivaji.
Shivaji Terminus mixes various architectural styles. While the stonework, the style of its bricks, and the stained glasses are traces of the Gothic Revival, its arches and domes are of traditional Indian architecture. The harmony of the building is due to the multi-national team of architects behind it. The lead architect F.W. Stevens worked with Indian engineers and craftsmen extensively to realize this fusion.