Romanesque Architecture 11th & 12th Centuries

The prevalent style of architecture in Medieval Europe during the 11th and 12th centuries was romanesque architecture.  Characterised by thick walls, round arches, piers, barrel vaults (a type of roofing formed by a series of round arches), groin vaults (double barrel vaults) and columns. Many Catholic churches were built during this period in order to house relics and accommodate pilgrimages. The Romanesque church is cruciform in shape, consisting of a nave, two transepts and an apse.

Abbey of St Foy, Conques, France



Churches were built in stone and decorated in high relief sculpture. Portals and columns were decorated in order to illustrate the stories of the bible.

An example is the scluptures in the Cathedral of St. Lazare, Autun. These sculptures were brightly painted in the 11th and 12th century but the pigments have faded over the years.


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