ROMANESQUE AND GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE By: Natalie de la Rosa The 11 th to 15 th 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); Otto nian (1000 s); Romanesque (1000 s-1100 s); Gothic (late 1100 s-1400 s). 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 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 12 th 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 11 th and 12 th centuries during which the first of the Crusades began called for the building of grand churches, cathedrals. The 11 th to 13 th 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 cathedrals construction latest over the course of one or even two centuries. The Cathedral of Chartres started in 1063 and ended approximately in 1260, almost two hundred years later.
Because of this, cathedral sites became more than just a place for religious education as generations of architects, masons and builders in addition to all of the merchants, tradesmen and villages which accommodate the building of such cathedrals remained close to the site. Cathedral schools were also opened to educate each new generation of architects who would work on the next stages of construction. The enormity of the Cathedral of Chartres gave way for a better acoustic. The Cathedral of Chartres and the Monastery Church of Cluny soon became the envy of bishops and kings and in the 12 th century northern France was grasped by a cathedral construction boom which in the 13 th century swept across the border into England and Germany. During the end of the 12 th century, several new and innovative art forms began to merge with the renovations of existing church structures which later became known as the Gothic style. While early Gothic styles reflected many of the Romanesque features, some distinctions included the fact that Romanesque had rounded arches and the Gothic adopted tipped arches.
Other distinct features of Gothic art and architecture reflected the profound influence of Christian doctrine on architectural design. As mentioned, many of the Gothic cathedrals and basilicas were built in the design of a crucifix but within the structure other distinct features abounded which included various art and architectural ideas such as: the Latin cross in which one arm, usually the base, is longer than the others which is reflective of the Crucifix and is found throughout the floor plans and structures within Gothic cathedrals. The Rose window which evolved from the round windows of the Romanesque period and through the intricate work of glass represented religious images. Gargoyles are particularly distinctive in regards to Gothic architecture.
The term comes from the old French term for throat, , which refers to the sound which water makes as it passes through the gullet. The gullets were the drains at the top of cathedrals which were then sculpted into the forms of beasts or animals known as gargoyles. When it rains, it appears that the gargoyles are spitting water from their mouths. The plans of the gothic cathedrals reflected the several different functions intended by the Church which would increase the dedication of any pilgrims which entered.
Many of the general features of the plan as seen in Saint-Serin in Toulouse, among others consisted of a cruciform plan with a five-aisle d nave with a central vessel and two aisles on each side. These aisles along with those in the transept and apse areas allow for the pilgrim to circle the entire church without entering the central vessel. In addition to the central portion of the Church, there were always radiating chapels that existed which allowed for private reflection of pilgrims and private citizens. Overall, the increasing prominence of the Catholic Church in the 11 th century led to an equally increasing demand for architectural monuments which would reflect the power and influence of the Catholic Church.
This was also the time of the beginning of the Crusades throughout Europe which were considered wars against paganism in which Christian unity was encouraged. During the Romanesque period, which was obviously influenced by Roman architecture saw the development of massive structures and Cathedrals and also included the introduction of the architectural features of the vaulted roofs. The Gothic period and saw the development of the Cathedral construction boom in which several innovative art forms were also introduced in the Church design. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Cedron, R.
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