Architecture of the Middle Ages Essay

Pages: 3 (788 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Architecture

Medieval Architecture

Romanesque vs. Gothic Architecture

Architecture of the Middle Ages encompasses a number of building and purposes for those buildings. Middle Ages architecture can be divided into two major styles: Romanesque and Gothic. However, within these categories other styles existed that encompassed a particular time or region, such as Italian Renaissance, Germanic, Celtic, or Tudor. This research will explore the similarities and differences between the two major styles of architecture in the Middle Ages.

Romanesque Architecture

Romanesque architecture represents the early Middle Ages and was popular until around 1100 A.D. It was influenced by the prominence and influence of the Roman Empire. The most recognizable features of Romanesque architecture are the barrel vault and the Roman arch (Sacred Destinations). A common misnomer is that Roman Architecture developed during the time of Roman occupation. However, the style developed after the fall of the Roman Empire. It managed to retain the key features of the Roman building style, but it can be distinguished from true Roman architecture by the absence of Roman features, such as roman columns. In addition to the absence of these features, other influences such as Byzantine and Islamic features can be seen in some structures (Sacred Destinations). These influences are an obvious artifact of the crusades.

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The defining features of Romanesque architecture. Arches were supported in the middle by a keystone. Stones were precision cut to fit together perfectly without mortar. The "barrel vault" room was developed. This style of room construction was so named because it was reminiscent of the barrel that had been cut in had and laid on its side. Several barrel vaults could be made to intersect in the middle (Sacred Destinations).

Gothic Architecture

Essay on Architecture of the Middle Ages Assignment

Around 1200 A.D. Romanesque architecture gave way to Gothic style architecture. It remained the most widespread architectural style through around 1500 A.D. The term "Gothic" is a reference to a group of barbarians who sacked Rome in 410 A.D. The term "Gothic' was meant as an insult to the art and architectural style (Gothic Art). It was meant to convey the message that this building style was "barbaric." However, despite its name, its popularity continues to grow and it eventually replaced the Romanesque style of architecture.

Romanesque structures were earthy and low to the ground. They gave the feeling of weight and massiveness. Gothic structure, on the other hand, tend to be light… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Architecture of the Middle Ages" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Architecture of the Middle Ages.  (2010, October 8).  Retrieved March 3, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Architecture of the Middle Ages."  8 October 2010.  Web.  3 March 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Architecture of the Middle Ages."  October 8, 2010.  Accessed March 3, 2021.