Flying Buttresses. They look lovely, but actually play a large role in keeping the structure steady.
How Gothic architecture was structured. Important: The location and use of flying buttresses and ribbed vaulting.
Downside Abbey church, Somerset ... "Three architectural features are typical of the Gothic. These are the pointed arch, the ribbed vault, and the flying buttress.
DIAGRAM: illustrating "flying buttresses". The flying buttresses on Chartres are rather modest compared to later cathedrals.
Gothic architecture « The Bach
chapter 9 flying buttress: were diagonal arches that provided support to the structure. It became a major design feature on French cathedrals.
Beautiful flying buttresses at Notre Dame in Paris
Clerestory, flying buttress, Chartres Cathedral- Chartres, Eure-et-Loire, France
Grey Skies of November