What is a rose window?
A rose window is a circular stained glass window placed in the north and south transepts of gothic churches. Tradition say that the north is mostly made of blue glass and the south is composed mostly of red.

Where were they used?
These were put in Notre Dame (Our Lady) gothic churches in France. In modern day construction, if they wish to use a rose window it is placed above the church's narthex.

Why did they make them?
Rose windows are a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Notre Dame churches are dedicated to Mary. At the time, most churches were Notre Dame churches because the gothic age fell during the cult of the virgin where Mary was seen as the queen of heaven and was given as much attention as God himself. In art Mary is depicted wearing blue with a red inner layer, this is why the windows are colored as they are.

Also, during the gothic age a new system of construction was found that allows the churches to open up the triforium area, that was once stone to bear the weight of the roof, for windows. Stained glass gave a heavenly look to buildings and could depict stories in full color while letting a rainbow flood the structure with light.

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