Gothic and Romanesque Cathedrals

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Gothic and Romanesque Cathedrals

The Romanesque style transformed into the Gothic style during the Middle Ages. This happened for many reasons. The Romanesque period was a time of trial and error while the Gothic period was a time of advancements in inventions. Religion was an important factor in the shift between Romanesque and Gothic. The locations of the two types of cathedrals also contributed toward the change between Romanesque and Gothic, as well as the power of the relics and the community to raise funds for the Gothic cathedrals. There are several reasons the architecture of the cathedral changed from Romanesque to Gothic in the Middle Ages.

The Romanesque period lasted from 1000 to 1200 AD. Today's France was the center of Romanesque architecture and the birthplace of one of the most beutiful features of medieval architecture, the ambulatory with radiating chapels. "Romanesque is the name we give to christian architecture in Western Europe from the end of the Roman Empire to about the close of the twelfth century. It is the architecture of a long period of struggle, suffering, and invenion leading to two centuries of glorious achievement." There are many reasons that the Romanesque cathedrals were built. They were built not only as a place of worship, but also to house the shrines of the relics brought back from the Holy Land by the Crusades. The remains of saints and martyrs attracted thousands of pilgrims seeking pardon from sins or miraculous cures or wished simply to pay homage to a favorite saint.

The Romanesque period was an age of new and experimental architecture. One advancement in construction was the shift to all-stone structure that replaced the timber ceilings that caused many churches to burn down. One experimental architectural style was the use of stone barrel and groined vaults in the early Romanesque church. The stone vaulting let the architects build on a larger scale than before.

The Gothic style emerged out of architectual style of the Romanesque cathedrals. The Gothic style started in northern France and spread throughout medieval Europe. The two styles of architecture were similar in many ways but also "The difference between Gothic and Romanesque architecture is the spiritual approach. In Romanesque,the emphasis was on transcendental and feudalistic systems whereas in the Gothic this approach was humanized and...

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...le. They were successful at accomplishing this that not only did the cathedral serve its purpose of providing church services for the people, but also began to symbolize a commanding position in the lives of men and women.

In conclusion, the Romanesque period of architecture transformed into the Gothic period of architecture for amny reasons. The shift occurred because of the inventions that the Gothic architects created, the locations of the two different styles of architecture, the raising of money for the cathedrals, and the competitiveness between the communities to havea better, bigger cathedral.

Works Cited:

Brooks, Chris.The Gothic Revival. London:Phaidon Press Ltd.,1999.

Erlande, Alain. The Cathedral:The Social andArchitectual Dynamics of construction.New York:Cambridge University press,1994.

Simson von,Otto. The Gothic Cathedral: Origins of Gothic Architecture and the Medieval Concept of Order. Princeton:Princeton University press,1988.

Cathedrals. Kristen Schank. 5 dec. 1995.

Gothic Architecture in England:The cathedrals. Amy Johansen. 9 may 1999.
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