Romanesque And Gothic Essay

1502 words - 6 pages

Romanesque and Gothic ArchitectureRomanesque architecture between 800 and 1150AD was popular in Western Europe which then rose to the gothic style. Pre-Romanesque style developed by using elements of roman design in the Christian churches in the states of Western Europe. By the end of the pre-Romanesque period Roman elements had fused with Byzantium elements from the Middle East, these influences became known as the Romanesque, meaning "in the manner of Rome".The appearance of the Romanesque style was multi storey entrance facades of geometric appearance buildings. Stone was a very popular material used in the buildings. Huge vaults and arches was one of the main characteristics of the time. Masonry vaulting since the beginning of Christian architecture had only been used in buildings of relatively small scale. Romanesque churches, on the other hand, sustained massive barrel vaults, making it compulsory to reinforce the load-bearing walls in order to carry the lateral outward thrust. The frequent presence of galleries above the aisles, sometimes with half-barrel vaults, is in all probability rooted in structural considerations connected with the problem of abutment. The use of wall openings to a minimum, due to the same concern, contributed to the sober yet soberly impressive character of the light. Each individual building has a clearly definite form which often consists of very regular and symmetrical plans so the overall appearance is known as a form of simplicity. Romanesque architecture mainly depends on its walls which are known as piers. Piers are sections of the wall that appear mostly at the intersection of two large arches, which are those crossing under the nave and the transept which is always in a circular shape, each arch is supported on its own supporting rectangular pier which is found at each right angle. Most of the buildings are mostly made from wooden roofs, mostly of a simple truss, tie beam or king post form. When the case of trussed rafter roofs occurs they will then be lined with wooden ceilings. The most important feature of Romanesque churches was the towers. Romanesque church facades were always built to face the west end of the building and are usually symmetrical and has a large central doorway made mostly by its moldings or porch and a arrangement of arched-topped windows which can be seen above the doorway. In Italy there is a single central ocular window which is most probably known as the most common decorative feature, as well as the arcading.One of the most important structural developments of the Romanesque era was the vault. Originally intended as an alternative to fire prone wooden roofs, vaults became a major innovation in architectural features. The cross vault was used throughout Europe even though it was heavy and difficult to construct so thus it was replaced with the rib and panel vault.The Church I chose the Sant'Ambrogio was originally built during the 4th Century but was excavated beneath the...

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