Compare And Contrast Romanesque And Gothic Architecture

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The Medieval period, which occurred in the years 401 until 1500, is a time in European history that fostered the development and widespread use of various architectural styles. Many structures built during this time still survive to this day, including St. Michael’s Church in Germany and Chartres Cathedral in France. Two of the most common and famous types of architecture during this period were the Romanesque and Gothic styles. Romanesque architecture borrows many of the same innovative engineering techniques the Romans used to build the structures of their vast and powerful empire, such as the rounded arch. Jackson writes, “In the eyes and judgment of the great masters of the Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries Roman architecture was…show more content…
Structures built using the Romanesque style of architecture include the use of rounded arches in their construction. These arches are known for being relatively durable and versatile in their use. Rounded arches resemble the shape of an upside down letter “u,” utilizing the semicircle at the top for structural integrity. These arches push weight outward to the left and right side, then downward. Rounded arches are visually simple and clean looking. However, they are unable to contribute to the building of extremely large structures. If they are constructed too tall, they will collapse under the weight of the building they are meant to support. Alternatively, Gothic architecture widely uses the pointed arch. Seen as a groundbreaking design at the time of its inception, pointed arches look exactly like they sound, with a pointed tip at the very top. They are favorable to rounded arches since they push weight directly downwards, allowing them to support heavier structures without buckling. These arches were capable of supporting the entire weight of the roof, meaning that the walls could be built significantly thinner than their Romanesque counterparts. Structural engineer and professor Mario Salvadori explains, “The main difference between Romanesque and Gothic arches lies in the pointed shape of the latter, which, besides introducing a new…show more content…
The Gothic style evolved from that of Romanesque, building on concepts and ideas that led to the creation of larger and grander structures. Today, mankind looks in awe at the structures that were built hundreds of years ago without the assistance of modern technology and equipment. These architectural styles are indisputably different, but equally profound. They made use of differing techniques to become tangible structures that can still be seen

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