The comparison and explanation of Gothic architecture and romanesque architecture.

Essay by gymbummin77College, UndergraduateB+, January 2003

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Gothic Style is the most fascinating and mysterious architectural era the world has seen. These large structures of the 11th through the 16th centuries, that are considered to be of Gothic Style, are simply glorious. Throughout the centuries, beautiful medieval cathedrals have been towering above every building and till this day, still survive with their astonishing appearance. The edifices built during the so-called Gothic period were not built with simple identifying Gothic features. Gothic architecture was born of Romanesque architecture altered by the influence of medieval society.

Romanesque and Gothic architecture, although having many similarities, also have many differences. There are some who would regard the first Gothic churches in France as late extensions of the Romanesque building 'boom.''The Romanesque contributed greatly to the development of highly articulated, expressive exterior and interior design.'(K Conant p. 6) French Romanesque architecture was the antecedent to Early Gothic in France. 'What remained to be done in creating the Gothic style as we know it was to take the proportion and sophistication of Cluny III, its relatively thin vaulting, its flying buttresses, joining them to the rib vaulting of Durham, and developing the effective features of each.'

(K Conant p. 291) Romanesque architecture was designed to be more for protective purposes than for any aesthetic quality. So as not to be destroyed by invaders, the walls of the Romanesque cathedrals were built very thickly. Gothic, on the other hand, had thinner walls and worked towards a more artistic approach. Gothic cathedrals were also designed with statues and sculptures on them such as the gargoyle, which also served as a rainspout. Romanesque cathedrals had few windows, as the walls of the cathedrals were very thick and made placement of windows extremely difficult. Contrary to Romanesque architecture, Gothic had many stained glass windows, which spread colored...