Flying Buttresses.  They look lovely, but actually play a large role in keeping the structure steady.

Flying Buttresses. They look lovely, but actually play a large role in keeping the structure steady.

Clerestory, flying buttress, Chartres Cathedral- Chartres, Eure-et-Loire, France

Clerestory, flying buttress, Chartres Cathedral- Chartres, Eure-et-Loire, France

DIAGRAM: illustrating "flying buttresses". The flying buttresses on Chartres are rather modest compared to later cathedrals.

DIAGRAM: illustrating "flying buttresses". The flying buttresses on Chartres are rather modest compared to later cathedrals.

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