World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Medieval architecture

Article Id: WHEBN0000232479
Reproduction Date:

Title: Medieval architecture  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Staircase House, Old Perth Technical School, Corbel, Middle Ages, Outline of the Middle Ages
Collection: Medieval Architecture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Medieval architecture

Bodiam Castle, England, fourteenth century.

Medieval architecture is architecture common in Medieval Europe.

Contents

  • Types 1
    • Religious architecture 1.1
    • Military architecture 1.2
    • Civic architecture 1.3
  • Styles 2
    • Pre-Romanesque 2.1
    • Romanesque 2.2
    • Gothic 2.3
  • Regions 3
    • Central Europe 3.1
    • Scandinavia 3.2
    • Kievan Rus 3.3
  • See also 4
  • Further reading 5

Types

Cloisters of Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France.

Religious architecture

The Latin cross plan, common in medieval ecclesiastical architecture, takes the Roman basilica as its primary model with subsequent developments. It consists of a nave, transepts, and the altar stands at the east end (see Cathedral diagram). Also, cathedrals influenced or commissioned by Justinian employed the Byzantine style of domes and a Greek cross (resembling a plus sign), with the altar located in the sanctuary on the east side of the church.

Military architecture

Zvolen Castle in Slovakia strongly inspired by Italian castles of the fourteenth century

Surviving examples of medieval secular architecture mainly served for defense. Castles and fortified walls provide the most notable remaining non-religious examples of medieval architecture. Windows gained a cross-shape for more than decorative purposes, they provided a perfect fit for a crossbowman to safely shoot at invaders from inside. Crenellated walls (battlements) provided shelters for archers on the roofs to hide behind when not shooting invaders

Civic architecture

While much of the surviving medieval architecture is either religious or military, examples of civic and even domestic architecture can be found throughout Europe. Examples include manor houses, town halls, almshouses and bridges, but also residential houses.

Styles

Pre-Romanesque

Early medieval secular architecture in pre-romanesque Spain: the palace of Santa María del Naranco, c.850.

European architecture in the Early Middle Ages may be divided into Early Christian, Romanesque architecture, Russian church architecture, Norse Architecture, Pre-Romanesque, including Merovingian, Carolingian, Ottonian, and Asturian. While these terms are problematic, they nonetheless serve adequately as entries into the era. Considerations that enter into histories of each period include Trachtenberg's "historicising" and "modernising" elements, Italian versus northern, Spanish, and Byzantine elements, and especially the religious and political maneuverings between kings, popes, and various ecclesiastic officials.

Romanesque

Romanesque, prevalent in medieval Europe during the 11th and 12th centuries, was the first pan-European style since Roman Imperial Architecture and examples are found in every part of the continent. The term was not contemporary with the art it describes, but rather, is an invention of modern scholarship based on its similarity to Roman Architecture in forms and materials. Romanesque is characterized by a use of round or slightly pointed arches, barrel vaults, and cruciform piers supporting vaults.

Gothic

The various elements of Gothic architecture emerged in a number of 11th and 12th century building projects, particularly in the Île de France area, but were first combined to form what we would now recognise as a distinctively Gothic style at the 12th century abbey church of Saint-Denis in Saint-Denis, near Paris. Verticality is emphasized in Gothic architecture, which features almost skeletal stone structures with great expanses of glass, pared-down wall surfaces supported by external flying buttresses, pointed arches using the ogive shape, ribbed stone vaults, clustered columns, pinnacles and sharply pointed spires. Windows contain stained glass, showing stories from the Bible and from lives of saints. Such advances in design allowed cathedrals to rise taller than ever, and it became something of an inter-regional contest to build a church as high as possible. Variations included Brick Gothic

Regions

Central Europe

Scandinavia

Kievan Rus

See also

Further reading

  • Braun, Hugh, An Introduction to English Mediaeval Architecture, London: Faber and Faber, 1951.
  • Fletcher, Banister; Cruickshank, Dan, Sir Banister Fletcher's a History of Architecture, Architectural Press, 20th edition, 1996 (first published 1896). ISBN 0-7506-2267-9. Cf. Part Two, Chapter 13.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.