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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Age of Cathedrals by Yale University

445 ratings

About the Course

An introduction to some of the most astonishing architectural monuments the world has ever known—Gothic cathedrals. We shall study the art, literature, intellectual life, economics, and new social arrangements that arose in the shadow of the cathedrals and that were such an important part of the revival of cities in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The goal of the course is a better appreciation of the High Middle Ages, a world that is still recognizably our own....

Top reviews


Jan 7, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I learned so much about cathedrals and their history. The professor was engaging, the forums were lively, and the imagery and music was beautiful and inspirational.


Apr 13, 2021

Really enjoyed it. The information and way it was presented was very interesting. I would even do it again as it had a lot of information in it...cant wait to visit the cathedrals we studied about.

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1 - 25 of 169 Reviews for Age of Cathedrals

By Alice K

Jan 25, 2018

Very interesting and well worth my time taking this course. I helped me appreciate not only the significance of the cathedrals, but the thinking and motivation of the medieval people.

By Kate J

Dec 31, 2017

This is the fifth Coursera class I have completed. While the topic is fascinating and the lectures good, it did not meet my high expectations based on previous experiences. It was not user friendly as there were wrong answers to quiz questions, writing assignments that did not reflect lecture content, and general lack of response from staff.

By Wendi S

Jan 23, 2018

The visuals for this course were very good. However, the presentation left a lot to be desired. There was a lot of reading to be done, which wasn't the problem. It supported what was being shown in the videos. However, during the videos the professor would then quote very large passages of what had already been read. This took away from the enjoyment of the topic. His voice was very monotonous, and having already read the information, a brief reference would have been better. Too much time was spent repeating information that had been covered. It was very obvious that the professor was reading off his cue cards. The title is misleading as one expects to learn about the cathedrals of the time period. Only three were ever discussed, and the rest of the lessons were only peripherally related.

By Dwight H

Nov 27, 2020

Excellent content , very well structured. The historical value of the course is well presented and provides excellent insights into the evolution from Romanesque to the Gothic style cathédrals.

By john c

Jul 11, 2018

A truly sublime course that takes you on a remarkable journey of discovery, in the safe and knowledgeable hands of our eminent guide, Howard Bloch Sterling Professor of French.

By J.R. P O

Nov 27, 2020

Excellent course. I learned much from Prof. Bloch. My gratitude goes to him. He inspires me because of his age and knowledge. I want to become like him very soon, I am already past 60 years of age. Just a couple of comments regarding minor mistakes in the course. It says EMPORER instead of EMPEROR (Charlemagne lesson). SOLOMAN instead of SOLOMON. RONCESVALS instead of RONCESVALLES. At one point Prof. Bloch said "Louis XVI the Sun King". It is Louis XIV. Nothing that cannot be corrected. I am a Canadian professor living here in Sourthern Mexico, and teaching youngsters and adults. I make my occasional mistake too....Again, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. James R. Portoraro.

By Anna L

Jun 9, 2019

An amazing course! Although it only covers the first century and a half of the history of Gothic architecture (will a brief follow-up on the restoration campaign of the 19th century), it does so in a brilliant way, giving not only an overview on the origins and special features of Gothic as a a style, but also a broad historical and cultural context. Professor Bloch is a masterful storyteller, and listening to him was a real pleasure. All in all, this course is an excellent introduction to Gothic, but even if you already know a lot about medieval history and Gothic cathedrals (like myself), you'll surely learn something new from it!

By Diana F H G

Sep 30, 2020

I've learned a lot about history, art and society in The Age of Cathedrals, about Gothic architecture of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, as well as a critical sense of how cathedrals were made, their function, symbolism, and importance throughout the development of the Gothic. It has been a beautiful experience taking this course, they have been such interesting classes, the platform is good for generating notes, there are subtitles and texts to complement, thank you very much.

By Philip J

Jun 28, 2019

This is a fascinating course that teaches one to read the architecture of gothic cathedrals in the context of the social and economic changes of the twelfth century in France. The videos are compelling (and set to glorious music!) and the additional primary reading material is well-selected. I couldn't recommend this course more!

By Dnyaneshwari K

May 7, 2021


It was a wonderful experience learning the Cathedrals. However I was not very for for the reading material. It becomes more of a linguistic course then.

I loved the way the professor explained the cathedrals.

I am happy I had joined the course.

Thank you!

By Carol L

Jan 8, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I learned so much about cathedrals and their history. The professor was engaging, the forums were lively, and the imagery and music was beautiful and inspirational.

By Janet E K

Apr 14, 2021

Really enjoyed it. The information and way it was presented was very interesting. I would even do it again as it had a lot of information in it...cant wait to visit the cathedrals we studied about.

By Maja B

Jan 9, 2020

An excellent and very inspiring introduction to medieval architecture, history and literature. Makes you want to study more and in-depth.

By Charles W

Jul 9, 2020

The content of the course is elaborate and the lectures given by the professor is vivid and full of knowledge. From the descriptions of the lecture, I can even just feel I am for now standing inside or outside of the cathedrals, admiring the magnificent flying buttresses, colorful glass windows which narrate each stories happened in the Bible and history. The professor really plunged into the milieu of the sculptures, architectures, interior designs and background histories with his sensation, rather than just narrate them plainly.

Also, from the course I realized what a great loss for the all human being that Notre Dame was burned by the fire, I feel extremely sorry and regret that everyone lost the chance to admire the intact Architecture since then. For me, who never had seen it before, no longer in my life have the chance to see what it was before anymore...

By Patricia T

May 4, 2019

El Dr. Bloch nos ha mostrado un mundo maravilloso a través de la Catedrales, la literatura y la historia. Conocí múltiples aspectos de la Edad Media. Los reyes, incluso santos como Luis IX,, los héroes como Roldán, los filósofos como Abelardo, extraordinarios abades y constructores como Suger o Sully. Esto nos permitió conocer diferentes formas de vida de la Edad Media.

Me parece, sin embargo, que podría mejorar el curso si se estudiaran más algunos conceptos religiosos y teológicos, que no son los adecuados en el curso. Por ejemplo, al único que se adora es a Dios, lo demás, se venera. En la obra de Dionisio Areopagita, la luz viene de Dios, pero no es Dios.

De todas maneras, le agradezco mucho al Dr. Howard Bloch por este regalo extraordinario.

By Laura Y

Nov 13, 2020

Realmente, admiro al profesor Edward Blosch en cuanto al conocimiento que posee y la forma tan didáctica en que lo transmite.

El profesor muestra con total claridad los contenidos apoyándose en magníficas imágenes, nos permite que podamos comprender la relación entre estilos e incluso las relaciones entre distintas esferas del accionar humano: la religión, la literatura, la vida cotidiana, la arquitectura, la filosofía, la educación.

Los contenidos fueron provistos al modo de una espiral donde paulatinamente nos introduce en forma natural con los distintos términos específicos.

Mi mayor agradecimiento por la posibilidad de haber podido hacer este curso.

Laura Yannelli

By Jana K

Mar 17, 2021

An amazing course I'd recommend to anyone interested in Gothic architecture, medieval art, French history or life in the Middle Ages in general! The course is very complex, providing information not only on Gothic cathedrals, architecture and art, but partly also on French history, literature, the most important characteristics of medieval French state and its saints and kings, and even a few bits of theoretical intellectual principles or philosophy showing us a part of a medieval mentality.

I truly enjoyed all of the course and would recommend it to others 100%. :)

By Alejandro

Jun 19, 2020

An excellent work, clear, dynamic and well argued and with technical, historical, religious references ... Professor Howard Bloch has taken into account the recipient of the information to understand the essentials of The Age of Cathedrals ... thanks to everyone ... I don't have the money for the certificate today but I appreciate this opportunity to YALE University and Coursera, Thank you very much.

Alejandro Chiodi

By John P H

Jun 21, 2021

I thought the class was very good. We have been to Notra Dame before the fire. Now I would like to see the other Cathedrals discussed in the class. I would have enjoyed a little more discussion about the construction phases - foundations, carving the stone, locking joints etc. Thank You for your time and interest in this subject. One of the readings was very long? Paul Hacker Costa Mesa, Ca

By José L P F

Feb 20, 2022

In this course it is explained in detail how the new architectural style arises in the construction of cathedrals. The written material that it provides is reason enough to take the course, videos are edited and they show maps, graphs and photographs of what is mentioned in the readings. I really enjoyed doing this course, and I take a lot of information about the topics.

By manfred o

Mar 3, 2021

I have gained insight into the complexity of French cathedrals. Despite being an architect having building history knowledge, the course brought me further into the wider context of why cathedrals were built, how they were built and how society, religion, political development and urban development interacted at the time. A very well presented and well taught course.

By Agnes G

Dec 24, 2018

I've enjoyed every minute of this course, 'The Age of Cathedrals' I would recommend it to anyone interested to learn more about Medieval history and architecture even if it is only a beginners course. It is wonderfully put together. Really very interesting, and we were well looked after by the mentors. Many thanks again to organisers, mentors and fellow students.

By Jairo S

May 13, 2020

Bien documentado y expuesto por un profesor que sabe muy bien lo que es dictar cátedra. Para mi gusto muy personal se extiende demasiado en el tema religioso y mucho menos en el arquitectónico. De todas maneras es muy agradable de seguir y se aprende bastante sobre ese periodo histórico. Gracias por la oportunidad.

By Noé Z

Nov 30, 2020

Excellent course! Excellent Proffesor! If I would have to change something, I will to suggest to give more clear instructions to develop the essays. Sometimes it is a bit confusing to have a title (e.g., The Bible of the Poor) and different instructions (e.g., comment 3 points about the hight of the Cathedrals).

By John K

Jun 14, 2020

A meticulous, comprehensive, and well-organized account of the subject, clearly presented and accompanied by enlightening supplementary materials. I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It deepened my understanding of the period and heightened my appreciation of its accomplishments. Thank you so much.