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Comparing The Sculptures And Different Structures Of Cathedrals

576 words - 2 pages

Comparing the Sculptures and Different Structures of Cathedrals


The Cathedral was a symbol of authority and religious achievement to people of the Middle Ages. Both Romanesque and Gothic style cathedrals are monuments to the skill and creativity of medieval people. Upon entering a Romanesque or Gothic style cathedral, one would have noticed that the function of these houses of worship is very similar. They are each an urban religious center in which priests conducted masses. Upon further examination of the sculptures and the different structures that embody them, one would have found that they differ quite dramatically.
Aside from being a religious center in which mass was conducted, Romanesque style cathedrals had one function that churches before them had never employed. They housed relics that attracted thousands of Christian pilgrims. Gothic cathedrals did this and more. They housed the administrative seat of the bishop, served as an educational center, and also served as a municipal center that attracted business, civic events, and festivals. While the Romanesque style cathedral held sacred relics, the advent of the Gothic style cathedral provided a central hub for the medieval urban community.
The portal of the Romanesque cathedral was adorned with much sculpture. It contained elaborate carvings that reminded one of sin, death, and judgement. Narrative scenes depicting the life of Christ often ornamented the capitols of columns. The scenes on the sculptures of the Romanesque cathedral reminded one of the wrath of God and the inevitability of sin. On Gothic cathedrals, however, the sculpture concentrated on portals, capitols, and choir screens was much more light-hearted. Focused on depicting stories from the bible and individual characters such as Christ and the Virgin...

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