Essay about Gothic Architecture : Gothic And Romanesque Architecture

Essay about Gothic Architecture : Gothic And Romanesque Architecture

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Imagine sweeping columns and soaring arches. Beautiful towers reach hundreds of meters into the sky after many years of laborious toil. Each feature differs and has its own unique qualities. Such descriptions encompass the scope of Gothic and Romanesque Architecture around the medieval period Europe. Each was designed for a different feel; as civility and people evolved, Romanesque style gradually became Gothic. Gothic and Romanesque architectures vastly impact society in their own unique ways but still have the same overall goal in their physical characteristics, complex meanings, art-history values, and modern roles. The primary objective of architectural styles is to please the eye, which is why physical features are often the first aspect considered in a new building.
Within the architectural field, buildings often have the same base characteristics in their structure, but finer details vary considerably in order to convey a specific style or feel. Romanesque to Gothic transformed the round arch into a pointed one, flat vaults to geometric ones, and symmetrical features to asymmetrical ones, such as paired towers. The actual shapes of the churches are usually Latin Crosses or ‘t’s. These styles, Gothic and Romanesque, are embellished with ornamental precision and large towers for “aesthetic function” (Charles and Klaus 17). However, the way in which buildings are decorated is different between the styles. In Romanesque churches, there are often painted details depicting people or heavenly figures, such as in the St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy.1 On the other hand, the Gothic style makes use of detailed designs within their complex geometrical shapes. Tiny swirls, delicate columns, and pointed tops are common and can be s...


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...ty because of the nature of their cultural use and the time span they encompass. In early ages, towns were built around “the construction of a church” (Wertheimer 39). The churches at a town’s focal point more likely than not was symbolic of the towns people themselves having a religious core and belief system. The church was the authority system, but after the fall of the Roman empire, there were vast amounts of uncertainty concerning the laws of the land. As a result, heavy buildings “designed for safety, not comfort” were constructed to protect from invasions due to lack of unity (Wetheimer 40). This led to the associations made about Romanesque buildings having stronger supports and thicker walls. The Gothic style came later when the structure of society has been more defined, so defensive measures were not necessary and architects could focus more on aesthetics.

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