Architecture in the Middle Ages

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The "Middle Ages" were considered a very turbulent period of time in the world's history. Civilizations were born and destroyed within these turbulent times. It was, however, a period that saw the beginning of great architectural developments. It was a time of learning and building. Some of the greatest architectural structures in the world were constructed during this time. Many of those structures are still standing today as a tribute to the abilities of architects and builders of that time. Of course the building materials of the period play a huge role in their preservation as well. Marble and stone are extremely durable and, with upkeep, have lasted thousands of years.

General Information on Middle Ages Architecture

There were two main types of architecture developed during this time, Gothic and Romanesque.

The Gothic style was developed in Northern France and is believed to have started with the church of St.

Dennis. This style quickly spread and became popular as a main theme for cathedrals and churches throughout Europe. There were those, however, opposed to the style. Seventeenth century neoclassicists developed the term "Gothic" out of distaste for the style and its flashy qualities. They believed it to be focused on barbarism and visually oppressive.

The Gothic style structures themselves are very ornate with carvings and religious figures across the rooflines and walls. The rooflines are typically pointed and there is usually a steeple or even a number of steeples that are all very pointed. The theory of this style is to build up toward the heavens, not out across the earth. Doorways and windows are usually rounded at the top in an arch and typically come to a point above that arch, again, keeping with the theme of pointing skyward.

Gothic cathedrals were typically huge in structure. They were...