The pointed, or lancet, arch - taller rather than wide - is characteristic of Gothic style architecture, which flourished during the high and late medieval period in Europe, from the 12th to the 16th centuries. Of course, an entire blog could be devoted to the subject. I note it here, simply because the nave ceiling (above) at Westminster is a particularly beautiful and interesting.
Westminster Abbey seemed a surprising choice for to some but I think there could be no more appropriate venue, one that can be described, in contradictory terms, as a very magnificent parish church. Founded in 960, Westminster has an amazing history including 38 coronations beginning in 1066 with William the Conquerer (b.1028, r. 1066-87).
The present building dates to the 13th century and has a fascinating architectural history as well as links to British Royalty as far back as Anglo-Saxon King Edgar (b.942, r.959-975).
Of course, any building as old and with as rich a history as Westminster is loaded with treasures and generously rewards the curious eye. Take, for example, the Cosmati pavement on the floor of the high altar where Will and Kate will repeat their wedding vows. The inlaid floor was crafted by Italian craftsmen (the Cosmati was a multi-generational family of artisans) skilled in a type of mosaic called opus sectile, that uses precisely cut pieces of stone - or, in the case of Westminster, marble, glass, gemstones, and brass - to create larger pictures or patterns.
Detail of the Cosmati Pavement at Westminster
Having recently undergone extensive cleaning and restoration by conservators, Westminster's Cosmati pavement, originally laid in1268, will be ready for William and Catherine and all those to follow.