Pillars of the Earth is about the building of a Gothic Cathedral in medieval England. It spans a few centuries and the characters are unforgettable. I read it in the 90s and then recently Oprah had it as her book of the month. It is listed as one of the top 101 books you should read before you die. You won't put it down.
'The Pillars of the Earth' tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known... Of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul... Of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame... And of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother. A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of 12th-century England, this is Ken Follett's historical masterpiece.