Category: Pre romanesque architecture characteristics

Romanesque Architecture: Background. The most widespread and magnificent expressions of Romanesque are to be found mainly in churches and church related buildings: e. Nevertheless, there are also striking secular Romanesque buildings in Spain e.

Most Romanesque churches are found in small towns or in rural areas, reflecting the active role of the monastic communities in Europe from the 10th to the 12th centuries. In some larger towns, there are bigger Romanesque churches, the superstar in Spain being the Cathedral of e. Many of the churches, especially the urban ones, have undergone architectural changes over the years as additions or alterations were undertaken in response to changing needs or taste.

The Cathedral of Zamora, built betweenhas a late 15th-century Gothic apse, a neoclassical 17th-century portico, and a Byzantine-styled dome over the crossing. Small rural churches, however, frequently have no side aisles. Early in church construction, the transept was extended beyond the side walls, resulting in a cruciform cross shape that dominated church design in Western Europe for centuries. These additional side chapels were useful to hold saintly relics in an age when relics were almost obligatory for any self-respecting church.

And in Spain there was a ready market of saints or martyrs who had perished in the struggle with Islam, and plenty of pilgrims to view the relics as they trod their way to Santiago.

Groin vaultsi. In the bigger Romanesque churches, the ceiling of the nave is normally higher than the ceilings of the side aisles. The section of the nave walls above the side aisles, called the clerestory, is punctured by small windows. In the larger Romanesque churches, it is common to have two towers at the west end Santiago de Compostela.

In the larger churches, the west wall is also, sometimes, embellished by a modest rose window over the portal e. Experts can also detect similarities between churches great distances apart thanks to the itinerant life led by architects, masons, sculptors, artists, carpenters and other craftsmen who often imitated what they had done in one building in another. The overall impression we get when looking at Romanesque churches is of solidity and simplicity especially when compared to their successors, the soaring Gothic buildings.

Romanesque churches are firmly anchored to the ground; their thick, powerfully buttressed walls evoke power, the sturdy pillars supporting the barreled vaults impress us with their strength. Barral I Altet, Xavier ed.

Romanesque Architecture: General Characteristics

Charlemagne ruled from to and was the first to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Floor plan of the Romanesque Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Santiago de Compostela: Interior. Monastery of Leyre. Unfortunately, in so many instances the frescoes have disappeared, succumbing to the ravages of time or whitewashed with lime to protect against plagues.First of all Romanesque architecture art flourished in the Christian West between the eleventh and twelfth centuries and even thirteenth centuries, depending on the country.

They are forms and techniques already in use but with a new spirit. Moreover, painting and sculpture are commonly conceived as organic parts of the building.

The constructive experiences of the Germanic kingdoms prior to the eleventh century, Islamic and Byzantine influences and contributions, together with Roman architectural tradition, define the many regional varieties of Romanesque art. The existence of a great diversity of proposals according to the moment and the regions makes it difficult to speak of an ideal model of Romanesque building.

pre romanesque architecture characteristics

The powerful Benedictine order of Cluny contributes greatly to the vast expansion of Romanesque art, as we have said before. During the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the black monks of Cluny undertake the construction of a multitude of monasteries and churches that dot the pilgrimage roads.

These buildings mark the different stages where pilgrims can rest and comfort both the body and the spirit venerating the relics that, as true treasures, each church jealously guards.

Countless castles, churches and Romanesque monasteries stand out even today in the European landscape, from southern Italy to Scandinavia, from Spain to Poland, at a time, which although subject to disturbances, political divisions, etc.

The most notorious feature of the Carolingian and Romanesque buildings is their combination of the massive enclosure the massive over the bay predominates with a strong vertical direction towers, dome-shaped. Thus, for the first time in the history of architecture, the tower becomes a formal element of the first category. Another of the basic properties of Romanesque architecture is the rhythmic articulation of space.

Therefore, the peculiar and characteristic way in which the architectural elements of the building have linkage. All this together with the adoption of new techniques it allows unsuspected constructions up to this moment and the new mentality of the time, make up the Romanesque architecture.

However, The origin of the Romanesque is not very clear. It is known that it was born in France, but it will be configured with a series of very varied precedents: Paleochristians, Romans, Byzantines, Carolingians, Asturians, etc. The construction system finds its route on a very particular type of very thick wall. It is formed by two walls made with brick and rope blight and an intermediate empty hollow that is filled with gravel, sand-based or masonry.

Interestingly, in principle, the importance of the stone, which according to the place of obtaining will have varied polychromies, which influences the appearance of the buildings. Romanesque architecture is characterized by the use of semicircular arches already used in Rome in the openings.

This arch needs shaping to gain in-depth and for its reinforcement also for the desire to enrich itfrom another complementary arch. As a result, in the characteristic flared openings, visible in indoors and windows.Cluny Abbey Reconstruction. The Cluny complex was one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe.

The Characteristics of Romanesque Architecture

For information about the meaning of various terms, see: Architecture Glossary. For the chronology and key dates of architectural developments, around the world, see: History of Art Timeline. Evolution of Architecture In a manner not unlike Ancient Egyptian architectureRomanesque buildings were designed to express the protective strength of God in uncertain times. After this came Gothic architecture which reflected the utter perfection of God's universe, and inspired congregations with its stained glass.

Renaissance architecture restored the proportions of classical architecture, making humans the key measure by which all things were gauged. Baroque architecture then returned attention to God. In fact the Papacy used Baroque architects as part of its Counter-Reformation propaganda campaign.

Romanesque Architecture. Characteristics.

In Neoclassical architecturewe see a renewed interest in monumentality in the style of Roman and also Greek architecture. What is Romanesque Architecture? In Medieval artthe term "Romanesque architecture" describes the European style of building design which flourished during the late Medieval era c. The most important type of religious art produced during the Middle Ages, Romanesque design was influenced mainly by classical Roman architectureas well as elements of Byzantine artand Islamic art.

It was characterized by a new massiveness of scale, expressing the increasing stability of the age and the re-emergence of European culture after four centuries of the Dark Ages. Despite a reduction in tension, however, a certain amount of uncertainty remained during the periodwhich was why Romanesque designs often doubled up as defensive structures.

The final defeat of the Barbarian marauders by Emperor Otto I ingave further confidence to the Roman church and its monastic orders, whose expansive building program led to the creation of three distinct structures of Romanesque architecture: the cathedralthe monastery and the castle.

Romanesque Art and Architecture

Cathedrals, which evolved from the early Christian basilica building, were constantly being renovated and enlarged throughout the Romanesque and flourished in an urban setting.

Monasteries first arrived in Europe from Byzantium in the 5th century, and flourished as centres of rural adminstration in the age of Charlemagne. See also: Carolingian Art: From humble beginnings, a number of monasteries grew into elaborate abbey complexes.

The castle developed later, in response to the political instability of the 10th and 11th centuries, and became a major feature of the mature Romanesque, notably in Britain. Later, during the late 11th century, Papal confidence combined with secular military power to launch the Crusades to liberate the Holy Places in Palestine from the grip of Islam.

The retrieval of Holy Relics from the Holy Land gave a further boost to the building of new churches in western Europe, and to the development of the mature Romanesque style.

One consequence of this sustained program of construction, was a huge demand for architectural decoration, including statues of gargoyles and monsters, as well as saints and angelsrelief sculpture and stained glasswhich in turn led to a huge growth in the number of medieval artists and craftsmen.

Please also see: Medieval Sculpture. Romanesque Sculpture Architectural reliefs and column statues.Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 11th century, this later date being the most commonly held.

In the 12th century it developed into the Gothic stylemarked by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman architecture.

The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture. Combining features of ancient Roman and Byzantine buildings and other local traditions, Romanesque architecture is known by its massive quality, thick walls, round arches, sturdy pillarsbarrel vaultslarge towers and decorative arcading. Each building has clearly defined forms, frequently of very regular, symmetrical plan; the overall appearance is one of simplicity when compared with the Gothic buildings that were to follow.

The style can be identified right across Europe, despite regional characteristics and different materials. Many castles were built during this period, but they are greatly outnumbered by churches. The most significant are the great abbey churches, many of which are still standing, more or less complete and frequently in use.

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The largest groups of Romanesque survivors are in areas that were less prosperous in subsequent periods, including parts of southern Francerural Spain and rural Italy. Survivals of unfortified Romanesque secular houses and palaces, and the domestic quarters of monasteries are far rarer, but these used and adapted the features found in church buildings, on a domestic scale.

According to the Oxford English Dictionarythe word "Romanesque" means "descended from Roman" and was first used in English to designate what are now called Romance languages first cited The name Roman esque we give to this architecture, which should be universal as it is the same everywhere with slight local differences, also has the merit of indicating its origin and is not new since it is used already to describe the language of the same period.

Romance language is degenerated Latin language. Romanesque architecture is debased Roman architecture. The term is now used for the more restricted period from the late 10th to 12th centuries. The term " Pre-romanesque " is sometimes applied to architecture in Germany of the Carolingian and Ottonian periods and VisigothicMozarab and Asturian constructions between the 8th and the 10th centuries in the Iberian Peninsula while " First Romanesque " is applied to buildings in north of Italy and Spain and parts of France that have Romanesque features but pre-date the influence of the Abbey of Cluny.

Buildings of every type were constructed in the Romanesque style, with evidence remaining of simple domestic buildings, elegant town houses, grand palaces, commercial premises, civic buildings, castles, city walls, bridges, village churches, abbey churches, abbey complexes and large cathedrals.

Many castles exist, the foundations of which date from the Romanesque period. Most have been substantially altered, and many are in ruins. By far the greatest number of surviving Romanesque buildings are churches. These range from tiny chapels to large cathedrals. Although many have been extended and altered in different styles, a large number remain either substantially intact or sympathetically restored, demonstrating the form, character and decoration of Romanesque church architecture.

The keep of Conisbrough CastleEngland. Romanesque architecture was the first distinctive style to spread across Europe since the Roman Empire. With the decline of Rome, Roman building methods survived to an extent in Western Europe, where successive MerovingianCarolingian and Ottonian architects continued to build large stone buildings such as monastery churches and palaces.

In the more northern countries, Roman building styles and techniques had never been adopted except for official buildings, while in Scandinavia they were unknown.Pre-Romanesque art and architecture is the period in European art from either the emergence of the Merovingian kingdom in about AD or from the Carolingian Renaissance in the late 8th century, to the beginning of the 11th century Romanesque period.

The term is generally used in English only for architecture and monumental sculpturebut here all the arts of the period are briefly described. The primary theme during this period is the introduction and absorption of classical Mediterranean and Early Christian forms with Germanic ones, which fostered innovative new forms.

This in turn led to the rise of Romanesque art in the 11th century. In the outline of Medieval art it was preceded by what is commonly called the Migration Period art of the "barbarian" peoples: Hiberno-Saxon in the British Isles and predominantly Merovingian on the Continent. In most of western Europe, the Roman architectural tradition survived the collapse of the empire. The Merovingians Franks continued to build large stone buildings like monastery churches and palaces.

The unification of the Frankish kingdom under Clovis I — and his successors, corresponded with the need for the building of churches, and especially monastery churches, as these were now the power-houses of the Merovingian church.

Two hundred monasteries existed south of the Loire when St Columbanusan Irish missionary, arrived in Europe in Only years later, by the end of the 7th century, over flourished in the Merovingian kingdom alone. Many Merovingian plans have been reconstructed from archaeology. The description in Bishop Gregory of Tours ' History of the Franks of the basilica of Saint-Martin, built at Tours by Saint Perpetuus bishop — at the beginning of the period and at the time on the edge of Frankish territory, gives cause to regret the disappearance of this building, one of the most beautiful Merovingian churches, which he says had marble columns, towers at the East end, and several mosaics: "Saint-Martin displayed the vertical emphasis, and the combination of block-units forming a complex internal space and the correspondingly rich external silhouette, which were to be the hallmarks of the Romanesque".

The Merovingian dynasty were replaced by the Carolingian dynasty in AD, which led to Carolingian architecture from toand Ottonian architecture in the Holy Roman Empire from the midth century until the midth century. These successive Frankish dynasties were large contributors to Romanesque architecture.

MerovingianCarolingian and Ottonian. Ottonian and Holy Roman Empire. Carolingian art is the roughly year period from about toduring Charlemagne 's and his immediate heirs' rule, popularly known as the Carolingian Renaissance. Although brief, it was very influential; northern European kings promoted classical Mediterranean Roman art forms for the first time, while also creating innovative new forms such as naturalistic figure line drawings that would have lasting influence.

Carolingian churches generally are basilicanlike the Early Christian churches of Rome, and commonly incorporated westworkswhich is arguably the precedent for the western facades of later medieval cathedrals. An original westwork survives today at the Abbey of Corveybuilt in After a rather chaotic interval following the Carolingian period, the new Ottonian dynasty revived Imperial art from aboutbuilding on and further developing Carolingian style in Ottonian art. From this emerged a renewed faith in the idea of Empire and a reformed Church, creating a period of heightened cultural and artistic fervour.

It was in this atmosphere that masterpieces were created that fused the traditions from which Ottonian artists derived their inspiration: models of Late Antique, Carolingian, and Byzantine origin.

Much Ottonian art reflected the dynasty's desire to establish visually a link to the Christian rulers of Late Antiquity, such as ConstantineTheoderich, and Justinian as well as to their Carolingian predecessors, particularly Charlemagne. Ottonian monasteries produced some of the most magnificent medieval illuminated manuscripts. They were a major art form of the time, and monasteries received direct sponsorship from emperors and bishops, having the best in equipment and talent available.The Characteristics of Romanesque Architecture.

If you are studying about ancient European architecture, you must learn about Romanesque architecture too. This style of architecture has been popular since around AD. The style is called as Romanesque because the design is like Roman architecture. Although the style was not built during the Roman Empire, instead, far after the empire fall, it still can be recognized through its special characteristics.

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Moreover, it developed in the gothic style. If you go travelling to the historical place in Europe, you will find the huge buildings with this ancient style.

Every architecture style in the world is different because they have distinguished characteristics, like Romanesque architecture. The most recognizable style is its round arches. Furthermore, there are many other ones such as thick walls, large towers, decorative arcading, massive vaults, and sturdy piers. The sturdy structure comes from the material using like a medieval stone for the wall and vault.

Therefore, the interior of this massive building is rather cold and dim. The stone ornamentation also adds the characteristic of the Romanesque castle.

pre romanesque architecture characteristics

However, because the architecture is built from the sturdy stone, the building can endure for centuries. Furthermore, talking about the Romanesque style, you must know about its history. It has been developed from the first presence. Updated design of Bailey castle and wooden Motte, the architecture you see now is better. Firstly, the building is built with the wooden roof because the people did not have adequate knowledge about the stone roofs.

Through the development, they know how to build the castle in sturdier construction with the thick walls that can hold the stone vaults.

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Then, the result is the dark and heavy interior of the building you see now. However, Romanesque architecture now becomes the great historical architecture. You must be logged in to post a comment.The First Romanesque style developed in the Catalan territory and demonstrated a lower level of expertise than the later Romanesque style. The First Romanesque style developed in the north of Italy, parts of France, and the Iberian Peninsula in the 10 th century prior to the later influence of the Abbey of Cluny.

The style is attributed to architectural activity by groups of Lombard teachers and stonemasons working in the Catalan territory during the first quarter of the 11th century. Abott Oliba of the Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll served as a particularly influential impeller, diffuser, and sponsor of the First Romanesque style. The First Romanesque style, also known as Lombard Romanesque style, is characterized by thick walls, lack of sculpture, and the presence of rhythmic ornamental arches known as Lombard bands.

The difference between the First Romanesque and later Romanesque styles is a matter of the expertise with which the buildings were constructed. First Romanesque employed rubble walls, smaller windows, and unvaulted roofs, while the Romanesque style is distinguished by a more refined style and increased use of the vault and dressed stone. For example, Abott Oliba ordered an extension to the Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll in mirroring the First Romanesque characteristics of two frontal towers, a cruise with seven apsesand Lombard ornamentation of blind arches and vertical strips.

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Although much of the present church includes 19th century rebuilding, the sculptured portico is a renowned work of Romanesque art. The Cistercians are a Roman Catholic order whose monasteries and churches reflect one of the most beautiful styles of medieval architecture. The Cistercians are a Roman Catholic religious order of enclosed monks and nuns. This order was founded by a group of Benedictine monks from the Molesme monastery inwith the goal of more closely following the Rule of Saint Benedict.

Cistercian architecture is considered one of the most beautiful styles of medieval architecture and has made an important contribution to European civilization. Because of the pure style of the Cistercian monasteries and churches, they are counted among the most beautiful relics of the Middle Ages. Cistercian institutions were primarily constructed in Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles during the Middle Ages, although later abbeys were also constructed in Renaissance and Baroque styles.

pre romanesque architecture characteristics

Cistercian architecture was based on rational principles. In the mid th century, the prominent Benedictine Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis united elements of Norman architecture with elements of Burgundinian architecture including rib vaults and pointed archesrespectivelycreating the new style of Gothic architecture. Bernard saw church decoration as a distraction from piety and favored austerity in the construction of monasteries, the order itself was receptive to the technical improvements of Gothic principles of construction and played an important role in its spread across Europe.

This new Cistercian architecture embodied the ideals of the order, and in theory it was utilitarian and without superfluous ornament.

Romanesque architecture

The same rational, integrated scheme was used across Europe to meet the largely homogeneous needs of the order. Various buildings, including the chapter-house to the east and the dormitories above, were grouped around a cloister and sometimes linked to the transept of the church itself by a night stair. Cistercian churches were typically built on a cruciform layout, with a short presbytery to meet the liturgical needs of the brethren, small chapels in the transepts for private prayerand an aisle-edged nave divided roughly in the middle by a screen to separate the monks from the lay brothers.

Cistercian buildings were made of smooth, pale stone where possible. Columnspillarsand windows fell at the same base level, and plastering was extremely simple or nonexistent. The sanctuary kept to a proportion of at both elevation and floor levels.

To maintain the appearance of ecclesiastical buildings, Cistercian sites were constructed in a pure, rational style, lending to their beauty and simplicity.

The building projects of the Church in the High Middle Ages showed an ambition for the colossalrequiring vast amounts of quarried stone. This was also true of the Cistercian projects. Foigny Abbey was 98 meters ft long; Vaucelles Abbey was metres ft long. Even the most humble monastic buildings were constructed entirely of stone.


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