Romanesque And Gothic Architecture Essay Example

The Contrast between Gothic Architecture and Romanesque Architecture

1934 Words8 Pages

The Romanesque and Gothic architecture period both occurred during the Middle Ages with the Gothic period taking place during the later half. Gothic and Romanesque architecture were related in many ways, but they also contrasted in style too. Over time, masons began to test the waters and push the limits. They thought of new ways to add lighting and ways to allow more height to the building without it being to heavy and weak. Many of the reasons for the change in styles had a lot to do with society and the changes it faced. There was a greater intensity occurring in piety and literature. The Gothic style embodied this new urban society. Romanesque and Gothic shared similar characteristics, but Gothic architecture was a greater departure…show more content…

These characteristics contrasted with the style of Gothic architecture. With the new Gothic style, the walls were thinner. Masons worked towards a more artistic look. Unlike the Romanesque style, which had few windows, Gothic architecture had many.
The Gothic style, dating between the 12th century and 16th century, began in France and eventually spread throughout the rest of Europe. An example of the first true Gothic church was St. Denis of Paris. Now, it is considered one of our finest artistic periods, but at the time, the term “gothic” did not exactly hold the same meaning it does today. The name came from the Goths and was used rather negatively when describing this style of architecture as they considered it to be similar to the works of the barbarians from which the name was derived.
Defining characteristics which began to create the line between Romanesque and Gothic architecture was the use of flying buttresses, this allowed for more light, bigger windows, and of course the use of a pointed arch rather than the rounded arches. Other characters which were developed and characterized as Gothic were the inclusion of large vertical towers, flamboyant spires, plate tracery windows, emphasis on windows, the reintroduction of sculptures, glass stained windows.
Within the Gothic architecture style there were three forms, the Early Gothic period, the

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Romanesque And Gothic Architecture Essay

Romanesque and Gothic Architecture

The 11th to 15th centuries saw a great surge of the Christian Church within Europe which was emphasized by the persuasiveness of the Crusades. The growing population of the Church increased the demand for the increased presence in architectural monuments and during the Romanesque and Gothic periods, a great cathedral construction boom occurred across Europe. The Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles were distinctive in not only the massiveness of the Romanesque monuments and the introduction of the cruciform plan but also for the introduction of the Gothic era art within the Cathedrals which included the inclusion of art the radiating Rose Window, column figures and the gargoyle among many others.

Within Europe, there was a progression of architectural styles, many of which are still evident in the monuments today. The major styles are considered as Carolingian (800-900 AD); Ottonian (1000s); Romanesque (1000s-1100s); Gothic (late 1100s-1400s). While Romanesque is considered as the architectural style which preceded the Gothic, many of the distinct Romanesque features found within the great cathedrals of Europe were lost to the greater Gothic movement. However, many Romanesque features, as well as the earlier Carolingian reside within the Gothic-built monuments.

The Romanesque name is deliberate in its direct relation to the styling designs found in Rome and there most distinctive feature is their massiveness as opposed to the much more thin monuments of the Gothic era which followed. An important structural development during the Romanesque period was the origin of the vault. The vault was originally designed as an alternative to the more fire prone wooden roofs but soon became a major architectural feature in all cathedrals.

The Romanesque era and style also refers to the Norman variations in the church architecture which also occurred in the late 12th century. The Twin towers are considered examples of the typical Norman facade developed during the Romanesque period and which are now considered a standard of medieval cathedrals. Another development during the relatively short Romanesque period was the origins of the cruciform structure of the church in that church plans (as seen from above) are in the form of a crucifix; a feature usually associated with the later Gothic styles but which had originated in the Romanesque period .

The Romanesque structures include Durham Cathedral, England; the Benedictine Monastery in Cluny, France; Sainte Foy Abbey in Southern France; Speyer Cathedral, Germany, along with many others. The growing importance of the Roman Catholic Church during the 11th and 12th centuries during which the first of the Crusades began called for the building of grand churches, cathedrals.

The 11th to 13th centuries were considered the era of the cathedral construction boom which began in the Romanesque period and lasted well into the Gothic period. Several of the...

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