World Architecture (1200-1350) + Europe After Roman Empire (800-1200)

… After the fall of Roman Empire, Europe was invaded by barbaric tribes and church remained as the only authority, society was divided by feudal system. Therefore, churches become the remained architectural face of Europe. Charlemagne, the king of Franks, united most of Europe people and crowned as Holy Roman Emperor, and royal class became the authority together with church, again. Imperial palace of Charlemagne, Aachen Palace, cathedrals and monasteries were built in this period. Aachen Palace was a key to reviving Roman architecture, known as Romanesque, which was based on Byzantine architecture. Christian architecture’s alternation of black and white voissoirs in arches were similar to ablaq patterns of Great Mosque of Cordoba, and usage of marbles and mosaics was based on Byzantine architecture. In time, two towered double ender, three aisle plan churches started to build as Abbeys of Fulda and Centula, triumphal arches used at city gates as Portra Nigra. At the end of 11th century, third version of church was began through transforming fragments of the apses of the second church into a expanded cloister and transforming atrium into courtyard. Cistercians, spread from Cistercian mother house, formulated an alternative aesthetic to Cluny, conceiving of beauty as the direct consequence of expedient structure without decoration. In a different region of Europe, Normans dominated Palermo and allow Muslims, Jews and Christians to follow their own beliefs so that their architectural output relied on Muslim and Byzantine architecture. Byzantine mosaics, Islamic muqarnas, stilted and pointed iwan-like arches as Abbasids were used. Together with the religious pilgrimage became popular, principal pilgrimage churches were got into shape of holy cross. There were aisled basilicas, the nave roofed with tall barrel vaults and the side aisles with grain vaults, second story galleries, known as tribunes. A concept of pilgrim is provided by visiting relics one by one which result from form of churches. Protecting pilgrimage to Jerusalem started Crusades, and interaction between east and west resulted in differentiation on architectural expression. Western people achieved different styles such as Armenian masonry, built tall and large scaled fortresses.

… Due to increasingly developed contact among the societies, architecture was also affected, especially Italy. Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice were the significant cities in Mediterranean. Contact with Byzantine and Islamic states increased their status, lifestyle and architecture as well. Mosaic and marble from Byzantine, pointed and interlacing arches, ribbed vaults from Islam architecture were bagan to seen in Italy. In Pisa, many architectural styles were born, piazza, open space for public, and duomo, based on Roman architecture. Meanwhile, in Cairo, domes became the symbol of the city. Malqaf technique was used for ventilation purpose, mashrabiyyas for seperating inside of the house and the public etc.

     Since all those developments spread to Europe, society’s life status changed, people achieved comfortable life. Churches changed one more time, and led Gothic Architecture to occured which is one of my favorites. Flying butresses are used in order to heighten nave, gothic rose window, stained glass were used for creating a dramatic light condition inside. Sharpness, height, decorations, bell ring towers etc. led to create a different expression of architecture; sublime. I would like to write more about gothic architecture, maybe another time.


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