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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Age of Cathedrals by Yale University

418 ratings
160 reviews

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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126 - 150 of 161 Reviews for Age of Cathedrals

By Adelugba O A

Jul 6, 2020

Amazing course

By MªJesús F M

Mar 8, 2019

Great course.

By Marta Y A R

Jul 2, 2021

Great course

By José E

Jul 17, 2020


By Emiliano O R

Sep 19, 2021


By Cristina L

Jan 29, 2018


By francisco v r

Sep 6, 2020


By Claudette D

Aug 27, 2019


By Leonie K

Jan 14, 2018


By V C S

Dec 25, 2021

I liked the class quite a bit, and certainly learned a lot. It has inspired my revisiting some of the French gothic cathedrals armed with my deeper understanding of them. Professor Bloch is deeply knowledgeable and engaging, and the progression of the material is thoughtful.  I particularly appreciated the blend of history, engineering, sociology, theology and literature in presenting the context in which Gothic Cathedrals came to be.

That said, there are a number of relatively minor annoyances in the class, mainly from poor maintenance, and it seems to me they should be addressed since people continue to take this class year after year. * Some of the time estimates for the readings are grossly inaccurate. The most egregious error is estimating that a 197 page (dense) document can be read in 30 minutes.

* Some of the titles of the essay assignments are completely unrelated to the actual assignment. In the forum, some students complain that since they answered the question (rather than the inferred question from the title) they were poorly graded by peers.

* Some of the essay assignments are unrelated to that week’s materials for some reason, such as in week 7. Perhaps this is intentional, but it is confusing.

* The transcriptions of the videos are very helpful, but are riddled with mistakes, often due to the incorrect use of homonyms. Perhaps speech recognition was used, but they should be proofread.

* Perhaps most disappointing to me is the lack of any mention of the tragic fire at Notre Dame in 2019. The course devotes an entire week to Notre Dame, and it feels uncomfortable knowing that the cathedral sustained profound damage without the course even acknowledging the tragedy. I have iterated the areas that need maintenance not as a pedantic complaint, but hopefully as a guide for one of Professor Bloch’s TAs to address them.

By Harry M

Jul 24, 2020

The "Age of Cathedrals" course was a very good introduction to Gothic architecture in general and Gothic cathedrals in particular. The professor obviously knows his subject matter and was mostly able to convey the material in an interesting manner. However, there was less personal interaction than there could have been. These were simply well thought out, well prepared and well delivered lectured but the presentations lacked spark and enthusiasm and humor....Which is not as much a criticism as a statement of fact. Considering that Notre Dame in Paris has been decimated by a fire, the course needs to update the course to at least mention that Notre Dame, as we knew it, is no longer. Even a reference to a well constructed video on the Notre Dame fire on the National Geographic Channel would help bring this course up to the present.

By Alan G

Apr 15, 2021

Although an enjoyable course, it didn't quite live up to what I was expecting. probably more on the architecture and less on the biblical quotations, I know it is about cathedrals, would have been more enjoyable. I also felt that the qiuizzes/peer reviews did not seem to be in sync with the relevant week's lecture.

And as for peer reviews and this is a constant bugbear with me on Coursera courses, why have them?

By Debbie B

May 15, 2020

I enjoyed the material and learned quite a bit about this time period. I am sure the developers of this particular course do not read the reviews. BUT would someone tell the developers, apparently not for the first time, that the essay question for Week 7 does not have anything to do with the course materials for that week. It is a waste of time to write an essay to a question that has already been asked.

By Kate S

Dec 24, 2017

Great course! I really enjoyed the first 3 weeks and the detailed information on the history of cathedrals and how they were built. Instead of so much interpretation of stained glass windows, panel by panel and scene by scene, I would've appreciated a comparison of different cathedrals in different parts of Europe. But over all a good foundation for history-oriented travelers to France!

By Joao C B

Jul 21, 2020

I liked the course and enjoyed many chapiters of it. But, I think that the Urban Phenomena's week could focus on more interesting topics than Peter Abelard and sexual behavior - why not, for example, St. Thomas Aquinas, or the guild's system? The suggested readings are not very specific too: entire works with hundreds of pages.

By Catherine S

Apr 15, 2018

A little heavy on French history, but very interesting. I’m not a fan of peer reviews, and this has plenty of them, but at least the grades were a combination of quizzes and peer reviews.

By Sharon M

Jan 28, 2021

A good course! I was hoping for more in-depth information on the actual design and construction of the cathedrals, but a lot was covered in the course and it was well worth it.

By Andrés B

Jun 2, 2020

Un curso IDEAL para quien está fascinado por el período gótico y desea conocer más profundamente de la época y de sus construcciones y su vida

By Stanislava F

Nov 29, 2017

Very interesting, but I would prefer more animated lectures and more details about the structure, since it is very important

By Jo N

Feb 23, 2018

A most enjoyable course - I've learned a lot, some of which I never really wanted to know.

By Oleg P

Apr 4, 2021

Great overview on history of a wonderfull piece of medieval culture — gothic cathedrals.

By jordi o j

Apr 22, 2018

learnt a lot of things about medieval cathedrals, specially from saint Louis life.

By Alexandra C

Jun 13, 2018

Lots of peer assessment but a very informative and enjoyable course!


Jan 25, 2018

great crash course on Gothic cathedrals and French history.

By Olofin J P

Jun 29, 2020