Exploring the Characteristics of Romanesque Architecture

Questions 1

What are the characteristics of Romanesque architecture? What are some of the specialized structural features used (such as rounded arches and ribbed vaults). What are some of the similarities between the Romanesque and the Gothic style? What are significant differences in these edifices?

The characteristics of Romanesque architecture are the semi-circular arches for the windows, massive piers and walls with few windows, containing outward thrust of the vaults, side aisles with galleries above them, large towers and arcades. These are the major structural features of Romanesque architecture. The major characteristics of Romanesque architecture are such as rounded arches and ribbed vaults.


The major similarities between Gothic and Romanesque are the use of arches, which have been seen mainly in the Romanesque churches throughout the Europe. Later, in Gothic building, the same arches have been seen, which have been changed to pointed arch as compared to the rounded arches of Romanesque churches. The major similarities in features are stained glass window, pointed aches, flying buttresses, ornate decorations and ribbed vaults.

On the other hand, the major differences between Gothic and Romanesque are such that the Gothic architects are primarily devoted to the building of religious dwellings and on the other hand, Romanesque architects featured more as Romanesque forms which is circle rather than vertical.

Question 2

What rituals and beliefs are expressed in the forms, planning and use of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing?

The Temple of Heaven in Beijing is an imperial complex of religious building situated in the South-eastern part of Beijing. The annual ceremony of prayer to heaven for a good harvest has been conducted in this place. It is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building with 36 m in diameter and 38 m tall. There are three level marble stones base where the emperor prayed for the good harvest. The building has been developed by wood and The Imperial Vault of Heaven is a single-gabled circular building, developed by single base marble stone. There are smooth circular walls and the echo walls that transmit the sounds. It is with belief that the prayer can be communicated to heaven, which will be reflected by the guardrail and ensure creating significant resonance for all.

The major rituals at the temple of heaven mostly comprise the prayers for good harvests. The purpose of the building g is to conduct Heaven Worship Ceremony. Appreciating the architecture and watching local people doing morning exercises are the popular activities in the place. The number of nine was considered as most powerful and thus there are slabs forming the circular mound altar that were laid in multiple of nine. There are 28 columns that are divided into four central pillars representing the seasons, twelve inner columns for representation months and twelve outer columns that represent as twelve two-hour period that made up a day.

Summary of second half articles (Week 5, 6, 7)

The study of Palace, Villa, Village, Imperial Korea and Japan is effective to understand the Japanese culture and tradition, where there are gardens, villas and large scale cultural treasures. It represents the cultural tradition of Japan and the major characteristics of Japanese architectures are wood, screens and sliding doors and Tatami. There are verandas, Genkan and relationship with the nature. The sliding doors are utilised for internal configuration and customised for different occasions. Japanese-style or niching painting continues in a pre-war fashion with traditional expressions and intrinsic characters. The painting is done on the silk and paper with colours and ink. The other materials used for painting is acrylics. The paintings and the landscape of Japan are also attractive to represent the traditional culture and natural beauty of Japan. Japan's Shinto and Buddhist beliefs influenced architecture from its residential level, with buildings which reflects a strong relationship between the humans and nature of Japan. The architecture of Japan is influenced by Chinese architecture and Buddhist temple. Older Japanese houses have wooden veranda with beauty of nature and holy places. Genkan is also there to keep the shoes outside of the home and it reflects that the inter corner of the house or living room must be kept clean.

Renaissance architecture reflects the rebirth of classical culture originated in Florence in the early 15th century and spread throughout Europe. It mainly replaces the medieval Gothic style. The major characteristics of the Renaissance architecture are symmetry, proportion, regularity and geometry where there are complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of Gothic structures. There is strong and creative structures of the columns, dements and arches as well as the niches and domes are also designed innovatively to improve the creativity of the whole Renaissance. The painting in Renaissance are related to rebirth of humanism, rebirth of naturalism, creating new religious themes, perspective and depth in art and privately owned art as well as good sculpture and architectures, the Renaissance architecture and painting are famous across the Europe and also around the globe for its simplicity and creative design. The other characteristics of the Renaissance paintings are such as Fresco cycles, altarpieces, figure composition, realism, anatomy, light and landscape, which are beneficial to develop crystal clear and innovative auditing in Renaissance. The characteristics of Renaissance arts are secularism, rebirth of naturalism, discovery and mastery of linear perspectives, faith on humanism and positive willingness to learn and explore more.

Through the studies, it is also possible to understand High Renaissance, Mannerism, and Palladio where Palladio has been adapted from the classical temple front, villas, as it has the dignity for suitable entrance. Andrea Palladio was an Italian Renaissance architect which was active in Venetian republic and the Palladio is influenced by Roman and Greek architecture. Additionally, Palladian architecture is a European architectural style, which has been derived from and inspired by the Palladio. Characteristic of the High Renaissance differ from the early Renaissance as in early Renaissance the individuals were interested in idealism along with naturalism. High Renaissance moved way towards triangular compositions and started creating pyramidal compositions such as the painting by Leonardo, The Virgin of the Rocks. The Renaissance mainly represents the European cultural, architects, political and economic rebirth from 14th and 17th century. It also promotes the classical philosophy, literature and art. The architectures of Renaissance are influenced highly by roman and Greek architecture and paintings. The studies of Renaissance are hereby effective to analyse the architectures, painting and arts in Renaissance. The studies of Japanese temple, Buddhist culture as well as Renaissance are also beneficial to explore different architectures and style of developing the holy places.

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Question 1 summary

The semester is effective to learn and gather vast range of knowledge about different architectures. As per the study materials and coursework, it is helpful to improve understanding about several churches, shrines and mosques across the globe, where there is diversity in culture, demographic background and architecture. The architecture of church refer to the architecture of the building of Christian churches and the successive styles of the church building of Europe are known as Gothic, Romanesque, Byzantine, early Christian, Renaissance and Baroque. On the other hand, shrines consecrate a holy place for its miraculous character for its association with gods, saint of a cult and life of the found. It is considered as hall of worship and mainly made of wood. There are also temples, which are different from Shrines, where the temples are for Buddhist and Shrines are Shinto.

Mosques are for the Islamic culture, and minaret is the visible structure if mosques where the call of prayers is announced. There are different structured of mosques including famous spiral minaret of Samarra, to the tall and pencil minarets of Ottoman Turkey. The churches and mosques are also very alike because this is the holy place of worship and ray too. It is for cherish and resemble good with different symbols and objects. The class session is hereby beneficial to improve knowledge about different architectures, paintings and arts across the international countries. The professors are also cooperative and communicative where it is possible to develop strong team for knowledge gathering and improving learning activities. Clear communication, open interaction with the professor is helpful to gather vast knowledge and improve the learning and developmental activities about architecture.

Take a deeper dive into Miles Motor: A Revitalization Effort in the European Automobile Market with our additional resources.

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