The Gothic Church and the Pilgrimage

One of the reasons the Gothic church was designed the way it was, was to attract the masses of pilgrims on pilgrimages. And since the main focus of pilgrims were usually, the relics in the church; the more sacred and important the larger or the amount relics the more pilgrimages the church could attract, and therefore the larger group of pilgrims.  
Medieval society was sharply divided into rich and poor everywhere accept, on a pilgrimage, because people from all walks of life could meet and travel together.

Rich or poor, everyone needed hospitality whilst on the road and there were many places along popular pilgrim routes which catered to travellers, just as today’s fast food chains, gas stations, and motel’s allow us to refresh and rest during our journeys. During the Middle Ages one of the earliest forms of hospitality was the monastery. It was traditional during the Middle Ages that anyone who presented themselves at a monastery’s door would be given food and shelter as part of their ‘Christian duties’ in the image of Christ.

However, as the number of pilgrims increased, there were simply too many people to be housed in the monastic buildings and the over flow was directed to the inns and boarding houses of the town as an alternative. It was here, that people would swap stories with one another, finding out about the places they had travelled from or visited. They would learn about which routes were safest and also gain valuable information from people who had already visited the pilgrimage sites and were returning home, they would gain information about which places to eat and stay.