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De La Sale University - Dasmarinas

Romanesque Architecture

In Medieval art, the term "Romanesque architecture" describes the European style of building design which
flourished during the late Medieval era (c.800-1200). It is traditionally divided into three periods: (1) Pre-
Romanesque: Carolingian & Ottonian architecture (c.800-1000). (2) Early Romanesque (11th century).
(3) Mature Romanesque (c.1070-1170). The most important type of religious art produced during the
Middle Ages, Romanesque designwas influenced mainly by classical Roman architecture, as well as
elements of Byzantine art, and Islamic art. It was characterized by a new massiveness of scale, expressing
the increasing stability of the age and the re-emergence of European culture after four centuries of the
Dark Ages. Despite a reduction in tension, however, a certain amount of uncertainty remained during the
period 800-950, which was why Romanesque designs often doubled up as defensive structures.

Combining features of ancient Roman and Byzantine buildings and other local traditions,
Romanesque architecture is known by its massive quality, thick walls, round arches,
sturdy pillars, groin vaults, large towers and decorative arcading. Each building has clearly
defined forms, frequently of very regular, symmetrical plan; the overall appearance is one
of simplicity when compared with the Gothic buildings that were to follow. The style can be
identified right across Europe, despite regional characteristics and different materials.
Many castles were built during this period, but they are greatly outnumbered by churches.
The most significant are the great abbey churches, many of which are still standing, more
or less complete and frequently in use. [1] The enormous quantity of churches built in the
Romanesque period was succeeded by the still busier period of Gothic architecture, which
partly or entirely rebuilt most Romanesque churches in prosperous areas like England and
Portugal. The largest groups of Romanesque survivors are in areas that were less
prosperous in subsequent periods, including parts of southern France, northern Spain and
rural Italy. Survivals of unfortified Romanesque secular houses and palaces, and the
domestic quarters of monasteries are far rarer, but these used and adapted the features
found in church buildings, on a domestic scale .