Romanesque - architectural style definition


The Romanesque style is an architectural style that appeared in Europe in the 9th century and lasted until the 12th century. It was characterized by the use of brick, stone or concrete as the main building materials and the use of richly decorated, Gothic architectural forms.

Romanesque buildings were characterized by simple, regular forms, and their facades were flat and not very decorative. The most important element of Romanesque architecture were round or oval vaults made of brick or stone. Groin vaults were also often used, which formed a cross system of bays.

Romanesque buildings also had characteristic round or oval windows, called ocules. They were often decorated with various patterns, such as crosses or rosettes. Inside the Romanesque buildings, you could also find richly decorated, carved columns and pillars that supported the vaults.

One of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture is the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was built in the 11th century. Other examples of this style include Chartres Cathedral, St. Peter in Rome and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

The Romanesque style was also characteristic of castles and strongholds that were built to defend against the invasions of enemies. They were characterized by high, thick walls, which were decorated with various patterns and ornaments.

The Romanesque architectural style was dominant in Europe from the 10th to the 12th centuries. This period is sometimes known as the romance. Here is information about the Romanesque architectural style, its precursors and the most popular buildings:


Precursors of the Romanesque architectural style

The Romanesque style is mainly derived from the traditions of Roman architecture, including the use of arches and vaults. Early examples of this style can be found in early Christian basilicas.


Characteristics of the Romanesque architectural style

Romanesque architecture was dominated by massive, simple shapes, small windows and thick walls.

A characteristic element of the Romanesque style is the use of semicircular arches, which appear both in the windows and in the vaults.

A distinguishing feature is also the use of massive pillars and columns that support the structure of the building.

Romanesque buildings often had a fortress character due to their defensive use.


The most popular buildings in the Romanesque style

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Spain): Saint James is the patron saint of pilgrims, and this cathedral was the destination of long-running pilgrimages in the Middle Ages.

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris (France): Although the current cathedral is mostly Gothic, its basic elements were built in the Romanesque style.

Durham Cathedral (UK): Known for its massive spiers and fortified appearance.

Pisa Cathedral (Italy): Famous for its distinctive sloping tower, which is one of the most recognizable symbols of Italy.

Cluny Monastery (France): This was one of the most important Romanesque monasteries, with an impressive basilica and monastery buildings.

Chartres Cathedral - is one of the most important Romanesque cathedrals in France, located in the town of Chartres. Its construction began in the 11th century and lasted until the 13th century. This cathedral is characterized by rich decorations and magnificent stained glass windows, as well as an impressive bell tower, which is one of the tallest in Europe.

Church of San Pietro in Valle - is a church built in the 11th century in Farfa, Italy. Its architecture is characterized by the use of brick, stone and marble, as well as the presence of vaults, columns and carved portals. This church is also famous for its frescoes and mosaics that depict biblical and historical scenes.


These are just a few examples of Romanesque buildings, as this style was very popular throughout Europe. Romanesque buildings can be found in many countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Germany and England

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