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Late Romanesque

Romanesque Architecture of Europe

Laura McPherson

on 14 April 2015

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Transcript of Late Romanesque

Adapting the plan of the Roman basilica with a nave, lateral aisles, and apse -these churches typically have a transept crossing the nave.

Churches on the pilgrimage road include an ambulatory (a gallery allowing the faithful to walk around the sanctuary) and a series of radiating chapels for several priests to say Mass concurrently
Parts of the church
Late Romanesque
St. Foy -Conques
St. Pierre at Moissac
Durham Cathedral
Nave- large central hall

Aisle: walkways that flank the nave to the north and south ;they connect with the ambulatory around the altar

Narthex: the entrance hall on the west

Crossing: the point at which the transepts intersect with the nave
Transept: the “ arms “ of the cross
Choir : the enclosed space where the monks worshipped in seclusion from the throngs of the pilgrims

Ambulatory: the path around the altar, with chapels off of it ( medieval crowd control)

Clerestory: In this case ( St.Foy at Conques) the tower over the crossing with windows above the surrounding roofline to allow extra light into the church
The simplest form of a vault, consisting of a continuous surface of semicircular or pointed sections.

It resembles a barrel or tunnel which has been cut in half lengthwise.
Any doorway or entrance , especially one that is large and imposing.
Constructed churches big enough for the influx of pilgrims who wanted to see or touch holy relics.

Churches had to be structurally sound and adequately illuminated.

Aesthetic appeal might be influenced by the wishes of a local religious order or a wealthy patron.

The beginning of fireproofing the churches began, as well as masonry vaulted churches. This allowed the stone mason guild to move about freely during the Middle Ages which made it a period of extensive and extraordinary building construction

The stone vaults required extra support , or buttressing, to counteract the lateral thrust, or sideways force, they exerted against the walls.

At Ste-Foy , transverse ribs cross the underside of the quadrant-i.e. the half barrel vaults of the nave. They are supported by cluster piers, each of which is reinforced by 4 engaged half columns.
Decorated with sculpture, painting and wall hangings through which the people could “ read” the images. Tapestries added color and warmth.

Use of architectural sculpture
animating surfaces
illustrating Bible stories and the saints’ lives

Portals became important.
Structural type:
Barrel shell /vault arch supported


1050-1120 ( 70 years to build)
located in central France
smallest of pilgrimage churches
3 smaller
Nave vaults
Cross transept on piers
At Ste-Foy , transverse ribs cross the underside of the quadrant-i.e. the half barrel vaults of the nave. They are supported by cluster piers, each of which is reinforced by 4 engaged half columns.
Barrel vault
Cloister Pier
Romanesque buildings in Italy were influenced by the Classical tradition. These rarely had façade towers . They were influenced by the early Christian basilica.

In 1062 the Republic of Pisa on the west coast of Tuscany defeated the Muslim naval force of Sicily.
The Bapistery’s rotunda-like appearance was derived from the building called the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem which was probably a result of the trading links to the East.
West front façade
"St.-Front in Périgueux was built largely in the second quarter of the twelfth century (and heavily restored in the nineteenth century).

Lucid volumes of space
Hemisphere- dome and pendentive zones
Semicylinder (barrel vaults)
Massive deprived of all decoration- they did this so the decoration would blur the forms
St. Front at Perigueux is located in the Aquitaine region of France, which is southwest of the Auvergne.
A chapel was built on the site of St. Front’s tomb in the 6th century.
St. Front was a follower of the apostle Peter. He was sent to Perigueux by Peter to convert the inhabitants of the town.

He became the first bishop of Perigueux.

There is a dome on pendentives over the crossing and over each arm of the cruciform.

East End from
West end from
East End and
Italian Romanesque- Pisa
Stimulated by economic prosperity, relative political stability, and an increase in population, this building boom continued over the next two centuries. Stone churches of hitherto unknown proportions were erected to accommodate ever-larger numbers of priests and monks, and the growing crowds of pilgrims who came to worship the relics of the saints (Sainte-Foy at Conques).

The new monasteries became repositories of knowledge: in addition to the Bible, the liturgical texts, and the writings of the Latin and Greek Church Fathers, their scriptoria copied the works of classical philosophers and theoreticians, as well as Latin translations of Arabic treatises on mathematics and medicine.

Glowing illuminations often decorated the pages of these books and the most eminent among them were adorned with sumptuous bindings.
*Illuminated Manuscripts
For the first time since the fall of the Roman empire, monumental sculpture covered church facades, doorways, and capitals (Last Judgment, Tympanum, Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne; Standing Prophet, Moissac).
Monumental doors, baptismal fonts, and candle holders, frequently decorated with scenes from biblical history, were cast in bronze, attesting to the prowess of metalworkers.
Rich textiles and precious objects in gold and silver, such as chalices and reliquaries, were produced in increasing numbers to meet the needs of the liturgy and the cult of the saints.
Abbey Church of Fontenay
St. Front at Periguex
St. Sernim Toulouse
St. Pierre at Moissac
legend suggest that a church existed on this site as early as the late 5th century,
known for its incredible sculptural program
In 866, a Conques monk was dispatched to join a monastery in Agen, which had the relics of St. Foy, a virgin martyred in 303 AD under Diocletian.

The saint was known for her ability to cure blindness and free captives, and her statue-reliquary attracted many pilgrims.
the most notable feature of the otherwise plain church is a large Romanesque carving of the Last Judgment in the tympanum over the main doors
The scene is full of activity, expression and detail, and some of the original colored paint still remains. Many of the figures are contemporary historical persons, including specific abbots, bishops and kings - several of whom appear among the damned!
Inside, the church is attractive but rather bare except for the 212 columns in the cloisters, which are topped with charming Romanesque capitals.

These depict palm leaves, flowers, scenes from the life of St. Foy, birds, monsters and various symbols.
The Abbaye St-Pierre de Moissac was founded in the mid 600s.
This abbey is said to have the oldest surviving cloisters.The capitals are said to represent the lives of the saints
Moissac's capitals are beautifully carved and in surprisingly good condition for their venerable age,
Dramatically shaped like upside-down pyramids, the distinctive capitals of Moissac are carved over their entire surface, including the abacus (flat part at the top).
Many of them have Latin inscriptions explaining the scene.
Durand de Bredons was the first Cluniac abbot of Moissac and also Bishop of Toulouse. He was declared a saint shortly after his death and is shown with a halo.
Here are depicted Christ in Glory with seraphim and the symbols of the Evangelists. Below and beside him in rows are the twenty-four elders, crowned, holding chalices and musical instruments, praising him with song.
Church is noted for capitals and tympanum.
The largest Romanesque church in Europe, the Basilica of Saint Sernin in Toulouse is notable for its imposing architecture and important medieval sculptures and frescoes.
Construction on the present Romanesque church began around 1080, starting with the chevet and transept at the east end.

A surviving inscription tells us that the altar was consecrated by Pope Urban II on May 24, 1096. Work continued on the nave until about 1117, when the collegiate church was elevated to the status of an abbey and attention shifted to the cloister and necessary monastic buildings.

The west end was never completed. The Crossing was enlarged during the Gothic era.
The saint, Saturnius, met
a violent death; christians
found his body and
buried him and erected
a shrine. This is where
the church stands
The building is constructed of red brick, with white stone used for decorative accents and sculptures.

The rooflines of the many chapels are lined with corbels carved with human and animal figures.
Rising above the apse is an octagonal brick tower 65 meters high, with five tiers (three Romanesque and two Gothic), white stone colonettes, and a small stone spire (1478).
The floor plan of the Basilica of St-Sernin is a Latin cross, with a long nave, wide transept, and double side aisles. Thanks to its grand dimensions and soft lighting, the interior has a spacious and tranquil atmosphere. Fine views of the architecture can be enjoyed diagonally across the nave from the side aisles.
The nave is supported by tall, narrow round arches topped with galleries, though which some indirect light is admitted from the aisles. The barrel vault of the nave rises 23m from the floor and is supported by transverse arches. The huge transept is built on the same scale and design as the nave.
Durham Cathedral has been described as ‘one of the great architectural experiences of Europe’.

The nave, quire and transepts are all Norman, at the west end is the twelfth-century late Norman style Galilee Chapel and at the east end the thirteenth-century Chapel of the Nine Altars is in the Gothic style.
The western towers date from the twelveth and thirteenth centuries and the great central tower is the most recent addition, it dates from the fifteenth century and displays perpendicular Gothic detailing.
The Cloister, on the south side of the Cathedral, was begun at the same time as the Cathedral but contains much work from the fifteenth century or later.
Durham Cathedral, in the city of Durham in northeast England, was founded in 1093 and remains a center for Christian worship today.
The choir, transepts and nave (forming the main cross-shape of the cathedral) were built between 1093 and 1133. They still survive in their original Norman (Romanesque) form.

The cathedral's nave is dominated by impressive, massive carved pillars. They have stood for almost 900 years and are 6.6 meters around and 6.6 meters high. Every other one is carved with geometric designs.
Durham was the first cathedral in Europe to be fitted with stone rib vaulting and it has the earliest pointed transverse arches in England.
Bapistry and church in the background
Begun in 1093, Pisa Cathedral (Duomo di Pisa) is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture.
The fine marble facade of cathedral is in the "Pisan Romanesque" style that can also be seen in Lucca and other Tuscan cities. T
Constructed from 1063 to 1350, this complex consists of a large cathedral, a separate baptistery that rivals the cathedral dome in height, and a separate bell tower, called the campanile, which is the famous "Leaning Tower of Pisa."

Next to the cathedral is an enclosed courtyard with the camposanto, or cemetery.
Materials: White Marble

The tower currently leans at 5.5 degrees, and while over the years attempts have been made to stabilize the structure, most architects have agreed that the lean should not be corrected but that the subsoil must instead be stabilized.

Benito Mussolini was the first leader of the 20th century to tackle this project, but the concrete base poured into the surrounding soil during this project only made the tower lean even further.

More recently, the tower underwent a sophisticated restoration, concluded in 2001, to provide a subterranean support system that one hopes will prove successful in arresting any further tilting.
The tower was begun in 1173, and its current lean, which resulted from an improperly laid foundation, was evident during construction.
The Abbey of Fontenay was founded by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of the Cistercian order, in 1118 on land he received from his uncle in a valley in Burgundy.
Stairs in the south transept lead up to the monks' dormitory, a long room where they slept communally on straw mattresses, separated by low partitions. They slept fully dressed, both for warmth (the room was not heated) and to be ready for midnight services. It has a beautiful roof of hand-hewn beams of Spanish chestnut, dating from the late 15th century.
Back in the church, a small door next to the dormitory stairs leads into the beautiful cloister. Here the monks spent most of their free time, usually reading, working or praying. Some capitals are decoratively carved, but only with restrained stiff-leaf designs.
The Cistercians were well-known for their expertise in water engineering, and here at Fontenay .In a building at the south side of the complex is a water-powered forge, recently reconstructed.

The monks extracted iron ore from stone quarried on the hill above the monastery, then used the forge to make iron tools to be sold in the region.

According to a wall plaque, this was the first metallurgical factory in Europe and the place of invention of the hydraulic hammer, which became the basis of industrial manufacturing in Europe. Several mechanical models demonstrate how the machine works.
Five domes over cross-shaped plan.
It is a church plant centralized Greek cross, which consists essentially of two ships that cross the same angles in the middle.
It is built entirely of stone
The main entry to Durham Cathedral is through the north door, which bears a great bronze sanctuary knocker, used in medieval times for those seeking sanctuary in the church.
The domes are supported by four massive, square piers pierced with a tall arch on each side, and two small window-like openings above the larger arch.
The northern front of the Cathedral faces onto Palace green and here the full 496 foot (143 metres) length from west to east can be seen.
The knocker would wake the two watchmen who slept in a room above the door. The one on the door is a replica; the original is in the cathedral treasury.
What do I need to know
. Be able to identify a Romanesque church from a Early Christian church or Gothic church- I will not ask for the name of the church- but on the exam, I will ask if it is Early Christian, Romanesque or Gothic
Know the parts of the church!!!!!
New Innovations that the Romanesque Period brought to architecture

Be able to compare & contrast the three types

A pilgrimage church
West front, never finished

Norman Architecture
Western France- Vikings settled in this region because they made a treaty saying they would not continue to raid the settlements. They became known as Normans.
William of Normandy crossed the English channel and defeated the Saxons at Hastings in 1066. They called him William the Conquer. He reorganized the English church and started a major campaign of castle and church building. He encouraged great cathedrals and monasteries> Canterbury, Duham, Lincoln, Winchester, Cloucester, Norwich, Ely and other cathedrals were built.
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