Romanesque and Gothic Cathedrals greatly influenced and influenced by the world. They were built and structured based on politics, religion, and enemies. During the centuries they were built there were world events happening that took a great influence in the structure. The religion was a great influence in the design and showed an insight in the faith. Romanesque and Gothic Cathedrals were influenced by politics, enemies, but theological virtues were also a big influence on these structures.
Romanesque cathedrals are huge. They have this big structure because they used to act as fortresses for the town. When people would attack the community everyone had a place to flee to for safety. Many facades are evidence of this fortitude the cathedral provided (Figure 4 and 5). In Figure 6 you can see a good image of the high windows and interior of these cathedrals. Romanesque cathedrals followed this style to maintain fortitude and a safe haven for the town. The walls were incredibly thick and high. A lot of these cathedrals had towers at the very top so people were able to lookout and see the enemies. During this time people were worried about Judgment day, another reason for these fortresses. As you can see theological virtues are represented in these cathedrals.
Later during the Romanesque period when Gothic cathedrals were made people weren’t as worried about enemies and judgment days. These Cathedrals were incredibly elaborate and breathtaking. Figure 1 is a great example of its beauty. The Gothic Cathedrals were much more elaborate than Romanesque cathedrals. They were heavily decorated and had many religious aspects in art. They had beautiful stained glass windows and religious art. These stain glass windows and other large windows were made to, “let God shine his light.” As you can see theology is greatly present in these cathedrals.
Major differences between these two types of cathedrals are their windows. Figure 7 is a Gothic Window and Figure 6 is a Romanesque. The Romanesque windows are high with thick glass to help enemies from getting in. The theology presented in this is the factor of judgment day. The Gothic Cathedral’s windows are very beautiful and elaborate. A lot of light showed through them almost as a way to feel the light of God. Some of the windows were even made out of stained glass with religious art.
As you can see Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals have theology represented in them. They also were affected by politics and events taking place. Perhaps there most distinct feature was the windows. There windows were beautiful and had a story behind them. It is in these windows that we find the theology. As you can see, theology greatly influenced the cathedrals.
Milan, façade, 12th century, http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/architecture/gothic.htm, photograph taken in 2009
Koln, Germany, façade, 14th century, http://jcolen.com/European%20Photos.htm, photograph taken in 2007
Notre Dame, façade, 10th century, http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/architecture/gothic.htm, photograph taken in 2007
Norwich, façade, 13th century, http://www.norwich-churches.org/Glossary/glossary.shtm photograph taken in 2004
Vezelay, façade, 9th century, http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/architecture/romanesque.htm, photography taken in 2005
Notre Dame, interior, 13th century, http://www.becomingcloser.org/History/the_middle_ages.html, photograph taken in 2008
Notre Dame, interior, 11th century, http://www.visitingdc.com/paris/rose-window.asp, photograph taken in 2009