Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
I really liked this and think the idea to make a plot around building a cathedral was a good idea. It certainly felt like an appropriate book to be reading when the Notre-Dame-de-Paris fire happened. I've now started this free online Age of Cathedrals class to learn more: https://www.coursera.org/learn/age-of-cathedrals. And then I'm going to watch the show/mini series and play the point and click game.
I previously got into this time period (1100s) after reading The Courts of Love by Jean Plaidy, which is about Eleanor of Aquitaine (wife of Henry II of England).
The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America, by Russell Shorto
Now I'm reading this. I read the first part, mainly covering Henry Hudson's expeditions, about 2 years ago but had to put it down to read some other things for work.