Romanesque architecture

The name Romanesque, like many other stylistic designations, was not a term contemporary with the art it describes but an invention of modern scholarship to categorize a period. The term "Romanesque" attempts to link the architecture, especially, of the 11th and 12th centuries in medieval Europe to Roman Architecture based on similarities of forms and materials. Romanesque is characterised by a use of round or slightly pointed arches, barrel vaults, cruciform piers supporting vaults, and groin vaults.

The great carved portals of 12th century church facades parallel the architectural novelty of the period - monumental stone sculpture seems reborn in the Romanesque.

Romanesque seems to have been the first pan-European style since Roman Imperial Architecture and examples are found in every part of the continent. One important fact pointed out by the stylistic similarity of buildings across Europe is the relative mobility of medieval people. Contrary to many modern ideas of life before the Industrial Revolution, merchants, nobles, knights, artisans, and peasants crossed Europe and the Mediterranean world for business, war, and religious pilgrimages, carrying their knowledge of what buildings in different places looked like. The important pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, modern north east Spain, may have generated as well as spread some aspects of the Romanesque style.

Surviving Romanesque buildings

inside modern France
Sainte-Foy, Conques
Saint-Sernin, Toulouse
Saint-Bénigne, Dijon
Notre-Dame-du-Port, Clermont-Ferrand
Sainte-Trinité, Caen
Saint-Pierre, Angoulęme
Saint-Trophime, Arles
Sainte-Madeleine, Vezelay
Paray-le-Monial
Saint-Front, Perigueux
Notre-Dame-la-Grande, Poitiers
Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe
abbey church, Cluny
Chapaize
Abbatiale de Cruas
for an overview on french romanesque art have a look at this page: art-roman (french), it's constantly growing.

inside modern Germany
"Imperial Cathedrals" (Kaiserdome) of Mainz, Speyer, and Worms
Cologne, St. Maria im Kapitol
Maria Laach, Benedictine church
Osnabrück cathedral
Trier cathedral

inside modern Spain
San Miguel de Cuxa
Santiago de Compostela
Cathedral, Ourense, Romanesque and Gothic
Tahull
Ripoll

inside modern Italy
Sant' Ambrogio, Milan
San Zeno, Verona
cathedral in Pisa
San Michele, Pavia
San Miniato al Monte, Florence
cathedral in Cefalu

inside modern England (where Romanesque architecture is often termed 'Norman architecture')
Durham Cathedral
Kilpeck Church, Herefordshire
Peterborough Cathedral
Southwell Cathedral

inside modern Netherlands
Sint Servaas, Maastricht
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe, Maastricht
cathedral in Tournai

inside Scandinavia
cathedral, Lund
cathedral, Trondheim

inside Central Europe
S. George, Prague (Czech Republic)
abbey church, Jak (Hungary)
Belapatfalva church (Hungary)
S. Andreas, Krakow (Poland)

see also:
Periods of Architecture
Medieval architecture
Ottonian architecture
Gothic architecture



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