History Of Architecture

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History of Architecture

History of architecture

The "Middle Ages" were considered a very turbulent period of time in the world's history. Civilizations were born and destroyed within these turbulent times. It was, however, a period that saw the beginning of great architectural developments. It was a time of learning and building. Some of the greatest architectural structures in the world were constructed during this time. Many of those structures are still standing today as a tribute to the abilities of architects and builders of that time. Of course the building materials of the period play a huge role in their preservation as well. Marble and stone are extremely durable and, with upkeep, have lasted thousands of years.

There were two main types of architecture developed during this time, Gothic and Romanesque. The Gothic style was developed in Northern France and is believed to have started with the church of St. Dennis. This style quickly spread and became popular as a main theme for cathedrals and churches throughout Europe. There were those, however, opposed to the style. Seventeenth century neoclassicists developed the term "Gothic" out of distaste for the style and its flashy qualities. They believed it to be focused on barbarism and visually oppressive.

The Gothic style structures themselves are very ornate with carvings and religious figures across the rooflines and walls. The rooflines are typically pointed and there is usually a steeple or even a number of steeples that are all very pointed. The theory of this style is to build up toward the heavens, not out across the earth. Doorways and windows are usually rounded at the top in an arch and typically come to a point above that arch, again, keeping with the theme of pointing skyward.

Gothic cathedrals were typically huge in structure. They were designed to hold the entire community if necessary. They were also built as a shrine to honor the Saints. This included the Virgin Mary. Cathedrals were also the thrones of the local Bishops, thus their closeness to the Saints.

Romanesque style is a mixture of several styles that fused together after the fall of the Roman Empire. The term Romanesque means, "In the style of Roman". After the fall, Roman culture was still popular and had been carried throughout the land by the Christian Church. This culture had played a big role in the building and architectural styles of Rome. Since the Roman Empire no longer existed, the style eventually fused with other styles such as those of Byzantium, the Middle East, the Germans, and the Celtics. There was other Western European tribal elements involved as well. The combination of these styles became known as "Romanesque."

The style itself is designed around the use of stone vaulted structures. Many of these structures use domed rooflines and rounded ceiling vaults to support the weight of the stone. The walls are typically huge with supporting piers. The structures themselves are made up of smaller square units called bays. These smaller units are the basic fundamental building block of the larger ...
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