Building Projects Six Essay

Pages: 15 (4255 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Drama - World

Building Projects

Six Building Projects of the Carolingian Renaissance and the Crusades

Carolingian Renaissance:

Palatine Chapel in Aachen (AD 792 -- 805)

The Palatine Chapel in Aachen was built as part of Charlemagne's palaces. The palace was located north of the current city Aachen, and present-day sits in the German Land of North Rhine-Westphalia (Favier p. 286). Charlemagne belief was to have the Palatine Chapel in Aachen as a place of religious worship and also serve as a building of royalty for the king (Favier p. 502). The architect that was given the responsibility for constructing the Palatine Chapel in Aachen was Odo of Mete (Favier p. 502). Mete created the massive structure and may have been a magnificent architect of his time, unfortunately there is very little historical information known about Mete.

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Charlemagne was engaged in a political, economic, and territorial rivalry with the Byzantine Empire and this coupled with the destruction of his palace in Worms encouraged the creation of the palace. Charlemagne chose the site of Aachen after careful consideration and his experiences as a military leader. Aachen's geographic location was an important factor for Charlemagne; the place was centered in the Carolingian heartlands in which the cradle of Charlemagne's family called home (Favier p. 288). Charlemagne envisioned the palace as a place that had tremendous advantages from him. The advantages include the closeness in proximity of operations in Saxony, a forest surrounded with game for the hunter, and the benefit of the hot spring for the emperor (Favier p. 289).

1.2. Design

Essay on Building Projects Six Building Projects of the Assignment

Charlemagne wanted the Palatine Chapel in Aachen to emulate Roman architecture as well as display characteristics of early Christian and Byzantine structures. The palace was a magnificent structure that was constructed with multi-colored marble; doors decorated with lion heads, and specially designed interior railings (Langmead & Garnaut p. 60). The Palatine Chapel in Aachen was built with a domed roof, included an image of Christ in Majesty, an upper gallery designed with a special throne area, and a main entrance dominated by westworks (Langmead & Garnaut p. 60). Westworks were a creation of the Carolingians and were tall monumental entrances (Langmead & Garnaut p. 60).

The Palatine Chapel in Aachen was inspired by Charlemagne and his trips to Ravenna. After visiting Ravenna, Charlemagne had imagined a great palace similar to an octagonal church he visited three times. The plan is inspired by Basilica of San Vitale that was built by Justinian I in the 6th century (Riche p. 57). Historical experts also believe that the Palatine Chapel in Aachen displayed characteristics from the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus and Constantinople's Chrysotriklinos, which was the main throne room in the Great Palace of Constantinople (Riche p. 57).

1.3. Construction

Charlemagne ordered the construction of the Palatine Chapel in 792, which included the process of building the rest of the palaces structures (Conant p. 47). The palace was declared sacred in 805 by Pope Leo III in honor of the Virgin Mary (Conant p.47). The eastern portion was designed with a square apse and the chapel's entrance included a westward monumental atrium (Conant p. 47). The plan and decor of the palace combined architectural elements of Classical, Byzantine, and Pre-Romanesque as part of Charlemagne's vision (Conant p. 48).

Odo of Metz designed the palace with a simple exterior and a complex interior that included a double shell octagonal dome, a two story elevation, and elaborate decor from the time. A sixteen-sided ambulatory with an overhead gallery encircles the dome. Charlemagne requested mosaic, marble, and other raw materials used in Rome and Ravenna for his palace (Favier p. 285). The barrel, groin vaults, and an octagonal cloister-vault are borrowed from late Roman architecture (Favier p. 285). Charlemagne urged his architect Odo of Metz used a multi-colored marble veneer to create an awe-inspiring interior. Metz also used spoila as well as newly carved materials in building the palace. Bronze decorations of high value were scattered throughout the palace.

1.4. Significances

There have been upgrades to the Palatine Chapel in Aachen over time, some due to invasion and other influences. Most notably, after a fire, some of the original elements of the octagonal roof were destroyed. The replacements were more 19yh century architecture, and it depicted the 24 elders of the Apocalypse wearing crowns and standing around the base of the dome (Favier p. 691). Over time the French added an apse to the eastern side and a city hall was added on in 1267 (Favier p .691). The Palatine Chapel in Aachen is a remarkable historical structure, and in 1978 was given the distinction of World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

2. Lorsch Abbey (ca. AD 800)

2.1. Background

The Lorsch Abbey is one of the most recognizable monasteries to come out of the Franco-German Empire. The abbey is located 10 miles east of Worms in the town of Hesse, Germany (Bullough p. 132). Count Cancor and his widowed mother Williswinda founded Lorsch Abbey in 764 as a proprietary church and a monastery on Laurissa (their estate). Cancor and Williswinda had entrusted government duties to Chrodegang (Cancor's nephew) who was the Archbishop of Metz. The popular Archbishop dedicated the church and monastery to St. Peter and became the first abbot (Bullough p. 132).

To increase the popularity of the abbey, Chrodesang obtained the sacred relic of Saint Nazarius and quickly put it on display in the basilica of the monastery (Bullough p. 133). The abbey received donations to help it flourish and in 766 Chrodesang resigned his post to Gundeland (his brother). Historically it is believed that many miracles occurred at Lorsch Abbey and when word spread of this the monastery was flooded with pilgrims from all around Europe (Bullough p. 132). Many popes and emperors gave Lorsch Abbey a favorable status and special privileges. The status and privileges helped to transfer Lorsch Abbey into a position of political power and influence.

2.2. Design and 2.3. Construction

The abbey had pre-Romanesque characteristics and was built similar to most churches during the time period (McClendon p. 99). Most churches in the early middle ages were set up similar in design. Lorsch Abbey followed suit with its dimensions and features. Lorsch Abbey had a main entrance at the western gate that included an atrium and a court for burials. The first atrium constructed at Lorsch Abbey was a little court with simple walls of brick (stone) and no covered walks (McClendon p. 99).

The south of the abbey was an enclosed rectangular court where the monks worked and lived; the monks were forbidden to leave this area (McClendon p. 99). Since the monks could not leave the enclosed rectangular area included a kitchen, storeroom, sickbay, workshops, and a basement. The north of Lorsch Abbey was designed with a typical cemetery or graveyard. The Lorsch Abbey (and many monasteries at the time) had difficulties bringing items from the outside (Glick, Livesey, & Wallis p. 399). This meant that the abbey would produce their own fruits and herbs; the herbs were used to season meals and to prepare remedies to help care for the sickly (Glick, Livesey, & Wallis p. 399)

2.4. Significances

Due to the fact that the Lorsch Abbey was given territorial rights and privileges it was often involved in feuds and wars. The feuds and wars over the years damaged the abbey eventually leaving it in ruins. In 1991, the ruined Lorsch Abbey was given the distinction of World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO p. 379).

3. Saint Justinus' Church, Frankfurt-Hochst (ca. AD 830)

3.1. Background

The Saint Justinus' Church is the oldest building in Frankfort, Germany, and it stands at the eastern part of the town Hochst overlooking the main river (Baedekers Frankfurt). Saint Justinus Church has a history closely related to the city of Hochst and was founded in the 8th century as a daughter city of Mainz (Baedekers Frankfurt). Archbishop Odgar of Mainz laid the foundation for the Saint Justinus church in Hochst and was later succeeded by Rabanus Maurus. Maurus made the final dedicated around 850 (Fegusson & Spiers p. 220). Saint Justinus' started to slow as a parish church and began to become a symbol of power for the Electorate of Mainz and the royal court at Frankfurt (Fegusson & Spiers p. 220).

3.2. Design and 3.3. Construction

St. Justinus' is a rare example of Middle Aged architecture and construction still standing. St. Justinus' originally was a six-bay basilica with three sanctuaries and apses at the east end (Fegusson & Spiers p. 220). The original entrance is in the west end of the central nave, the north side of the church at the northern sanctuary serves as the present-day entrance. The church was equipped with aisle windows that have since been replaced (Johnson p. 66).

The remainder of the Carolingian is still in place that includes two sanctuaries, the central nave with small round-arched clerestory windows, the flat… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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