Minecraft Maps / Land Structure

THSchutt's Amiens Cathedral (1:1 scale) Minecraft Replica (2022)

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THSchutt's Avatar THSchutt
Level 44 : Master Architect
Now Live! Cathedral Talk, a podcast about architecture and Minecraft, dedicated to raising awareness for the restoration efforts to save Notre-Dame de Paris, after the tragic fire on April 15, 2019.


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THSCHUTT NewElysium2022 PACKv1.18 2022-04-15 (Bright+50%)


While most of my recently published builds are projects that have developed over many years, I started this latest build of Amiens Cathedral in France only this year in January 2022. After all, the Cathedral Talk channel needs more cathedrals, and what better build to include this year than what many consider to be the apex of French Gothic.

As with many of my builds, this model is intended to be as close as possible to a 1-to-1 scale replica of the real cathedral while making only slight deviations where appropriate to facilitate good detailing in Minecraft. Overall the build is *slightly* larger than 1-to-1 scale, being perhaps about 10% larger overall than the real cathedral, but I view this to be within acceptable tolerance of categorizing this build as a 1-to-1 model. Amiens Cathedral is most famous for its nave height, and I worked particularly hard to build a model close to the 42.3 m nave height that the cathedral is said to have so the model will be to scale with my other builds like Notre-Dame de Paris, the Colosseum, and more.

DIMENSIONS: MODEL (blocks) vs. REAL (m)
Total Length: 165 vs. 148
Facade Width: 39 vs. 36
Tower Widths (ground): 13 vs. 12
Transept Width: 81 vs. 71
Nave Height: 44 vs. 42.3
Rooftop Height: 59 vs. 56
North Tower Height: 64.5 vs. 61
South Tower Height: 59.5 vs. 55
Spire Height: 121 vs. 112.7

As with all my replica builds, my Amiens interior is fully complete. Since cathedrals are such a sprawling complex of passages, I was forced to make a few guesses on the locations of a couple passageways due to limited source-data, particularly in the western facade which has aisles upon aisles stacked as you ascend the many tiers of the elevation. However I am reasonably confident that my interpretation is quite close to the original. One detail I want more evidence for is the locations of the different bells in the towers; Amiens Cathedral has at least six primary bells (maybe more)—two bourdons and four lighter bells. However I am uncertain which bells are hung in which towers, so that is a detail I will update sometime in the future.

Within the downloadable map, I have pasted my 1-to-1 scale model of Notre-Dame de Paris side-by-side with this new build of Amiens Cathedral so you can compare their relative sizes—both models should be very close in scale with each other. Clearly Amiens is the bigger cathedral, however Notre-Dame’s bell towers are much grander, and the relative proportions of Notre-Dame’s tiered levels feels more harmonious than at Amiens where the ground tier for the Main Arcade is so crazy tall that the triforium and to some extent even the clerestory feel dwarfed. Nevertheless, I have a new appreciation for the awesome behemoth that is Amiens Cathedral, and I am pleased to share it with you all.
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07/13/2022 2:56 pm
Level 32 : Artisan Network
BuildTheEarth-UK's Avatar
soo beautiful!
07/13/2022 10:37 pm
Level 44 : Master Architect
THSchutt's Avatar
Thank you!
07/08/2022 12:13 pm
Level 50 : Grandmaster Cake
marvelfannumber2's Avatar
Hey, love the podcast, good to see you're still building stuff. Amiens has always been my favorite of the French Cathedrals, and you've certainly done it justice.

Only nitpick I have is that I don't really understand the color choices. Amiens Cathedral is made of limestone, which is more of a beige color, not really gray. But looks fantastic otherwise.
07/08/2022 2:17 pm
Level 44 : Master Architect
THSchutt's Avatar
Greetings! Glad to hear you're enjoying the podcast! Amiens is one of my favorites too, and we'll definitely get around to talking about it sometime soon.

Your nitpick is totally reasonable, and I've certainly considered the pros and cons of different pallets when it comes to my builds like this one. Allow me to try to explain my thinking a bit. I tend to be cautious when it comes to color, for color pallets are still my steepest learning curve. But by my gut, I've steered away from the Sandstone pallet(s) for I've felt that they swing too wildly in the other direction. Notre-Dame, Amiens, et al. do have some beige color in their limestone, but it varies extensively based on what kind of sunlight is reflecting off of its surface. Sometimes Notre-Dame looks white, sometimes it looks grey, and sometimes it looks golden. I've actually tried to mix in a little more golden light with Chunky to see if I can get that more golden-looking color appear on different shots for different builds, and I've had mixed success.

But then there's the flip side to the strengths of the grey stone pallet—there are a LOT of blocks that all work together. My rule of thumb is that I care more about making the masonry textures look good and I care somewhat less about whatever the exact color it is, since that is something that I could always tweak later. Color aside, I do really love the interaction between the textures of stone and andesite for you can make a boring flat wall have interesting masonry-like patterns. If there were more wall-type blocks available I would be more confident to venture into the different beige pallets, but right now the number of available wall types are still quite limited. I do like having my builds feel like they fit right into vanilla Minecraft with only a few modest adjustments to the texture pack, but likely the best reconciliation would be to take the grey stone pallet and *slightly* beige them all up, and then play with the lighting some more. This is something I could see myself doing sometime in the future.

I also do fully realize that all my builds have been in the same grey-stone pallet, so it is definitely time to mix it up a bit. I have some plans for my next several builds which should finally utilize new colors and grow my experience with different pallets. As always, thank you for the feedback!
07/08/2022 2:40 pm
Level 50 : Grandmaster Cake
marvelfannumber2's Avatar
Thank you for the thorough reply.

Yeah, I totally get that.

I've had this issue myself when building various things too. The problems you mentioned about color consistency in real life also get really complicated depending on what timeframe we're deciding to build it in, as we have to factor in wear and tear too.

I do think it's still important to try and get the general color palette in there though, Minecraft can never really capture the various nuances of color that you get in real life unless you use shaders/chunky, so it's usually best to learn to deal with it sometimes.

Since you mentioned in the podcast that you've been looking into gradients more, you can actually get a lot of surprising color palettes from mixing together different blocks you never thought you would use. The debug stick also allows for more flexibility in shapes when it comes to walls and fences, even if there are only so many variations. I've done this to great effect on some of my experimental versions of Notre Dame de Paris that I have not made public.

I do think the issue of color is a very important one, because the medieval builders did put a lot of emphasis on it if you read some of the primary sources. This is especially true when you consider that cathedrals would have originally been painted in vivid colors, which again shows the importance of color to the medieval artisans. Would make for an interesting topic in the podcast tbh.

Anyway, hope to see more from you, as your work is always of consistent quality.
07/08/2022 4:07 pm
Level 44 : Master Architect
THSchutt's Avatar
All points well taken. I knew it was only a matter of time until someone commented on how all my four builds on Planet Minecraft here used the same grey stone pallet. I am definitely excited to see some of the original colors of Notre-Dame revealed as they continue to clean the interior, and it might make a new fun variation of Notre-Dame for me to upload here in the future. I try to find something to update at least once a year.

As a listener, you've heard me say this before too, but my own preferences are contaminated by the Renaissance's white-washing of classical artwork, stripping color off of marble and stonework. I tend to prefer white and grey stonework and sculpture only because that's what I grew up with, and so my builds no doubt trend towards less color because I simply like it even if that isn't fully historically accurate. And I think it's fine for different builders to share their own interpretations of replicas like these, and we then get to have fun comparing our works with each other. I've enjoyed viewing your own Notre-Dame for this reason!
07/08/2022 4:21 pm
Level 50 : Grandmaster Cake
marvelfannumber2's Avatar
Yeah, in spite of the fire being very tragic, it is a golden opportunity to discover more clues about the church's medieval appearance. It would be interesting to see your take on a medieval iteration of one of your builds with the Rood Screen and polychrome.

I've always had a taste for polychrome myself since it's usually unexpected for most people, which I always think is fun. I also think one of the reasons polychrome seems so 'weird' to us, is because many of the reconstructions we see are quite misleading, since they usually only reconstruct the primary colors, that how it would have actually looked.

I am glad you enjoyed my Notre Dame, although honestly I think it kind of sucks now since my build style has vastly improved over the last 3 years.

If you want to talk more about this kind of stuff feel free to send me a PM. As nice as this conversation has been, I don't want to further pollute this comment section lol.
07/07/2022 2:12 pm
Level 45 : Master Network
BTE-France's Avatar
amazing build we also build some cathedral in 1:1 scale but i think you know us haha
07/07/2022 2:17 pm
Level 44 : Master Architect
THSchutt's Avatar
Thank you for the compliment! I do also admire your builds very much, too! A pleasurable exchange to have with fellow cathedral builders. ;-)