February 23, 2018

If it’s Tuesday, it must be Romanesque!

Traveling introduces us to a world we may have never paid much attention to.  You don’t need to be an art major to appreciate art in the Louvre or an architect to appreciate beautiful buildings like Notre Dame in Paris.  This is part of what traveling is all about, learning.

Cathedral in Vezelay France Romanesque Architecture

Cathedral in Vezelay by Fred Hsu, on Flickr

As we marvel at the enchanting buildings we visit we are told they are Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque or Modern architecture.  We say to ourselves, “Hmmmm, this is  interesting and beautiful” and move along to the next feature.  But what are those different architectural styles all about?  What makes something Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque or Modern?

Durham Cathedral Britain Romanesqu Architecture

Durham Cathedral by Glen Bowman, on Flikr

I have decided to learn more about architecture and will be writing about the different architectural styles you may encounter while visiting Europe.

St. Sernin Cathedral Toulouse France Romanesque Architecture

St. Sernin Cathedral Toulouse France by chantrybee, on Flickr

I’m starting with Romanesque.

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela Romanesque Architecture

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela by sedoglia, on Flickr

Romanesque architecture is a style associated with the medieval time period and started showing up between 1000 and 1200 AD.  It is known as the first “European” style of architecture and was influenced by the massive buildings of the Byzantine Empire seen by knights during the crusades.

Pisa Italy Belfry and Cathedral Romanesque Architecture

Pisa Belfry and Cathedral by Leithcote, on Flickr

Churches during the medieval times were the center of town and the communities revolved around them.  They were the local seat of power.  The churches built in the Romanesque style were built of stone and were the prominent building of the area.

Mainz Cathedral Germany Romanesque Architecture

Mainz Cathedral by Dietmar Scherf

Romanesque churches are made of massive, thick stone walls and, in this time, were the only building made of stone.  The doors are topped with layers of round arches.

Clonfert Cathedral Galway Ireland Romanesque Architecture

Clonfert Cathedral by irishFiresdie, on Flikr

Romanesque buildings do not have a lot of windows and, therefore, tend to be dark and may be considered foreboding.

The ornamentation was Christian themed and figures were of people.

Altar at Bamberg Cathedral Germany Romanesque Architecture

Altar at Bamberg Cathedral by Andrew Corwin

Romanesque architecture also includes decorative moldings and arcades as well as columns and murals on ceilings and walls.  A very noticeable component is the tall towers, which could be seen for miles.

Statuary over the entrance, Speyer Cathedral Romanesque Architecture

Statuary over the entrance, Speyer Cathedral by rjones0856, on Flickr

We’ve all been to Romanesque style churches or castles.  What are your favorite examples of Romanesque architecture?

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  12. wilson says:

    Ahh beautiful architecture, it’s not to late for me to learn more about architecture, I always was interested in architecture when I was in high school. Now I kick myself for not following that passion.

    The thing with old buildings is the hard work that went into it, nowadays you don’t see such detail into each piece. But I think we’re going back to those days, because it’s important to be remarkable and unique.

    I’ll want to visit this place someday.
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    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      There are alot of things I wish I had paid more attention to in high school! Like history!! I love history now and have even thought of getting a college degree in it but that was not the case in high school.

  13. Andrea says:

    I’ve always been hopeless when it comes to knowing architectural styles. I while back I was reading Rick Steves Europe 101 which explains what’s what. It’s kinda like architecture and art history for dummies which is just what I needed! I don’t know much about Romanesque architecture though.
    Andrea recently posted..Szentendre Hungary

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      That is me exactly! I love looking at all the old building but have no clue about the different styles. But from now on I will no longer be completely “clueless”!

      Thanks for stopping by.


  1. upominki says:


    If it’s Tuesday, it must be Romanesque! | European Travelista…

  2. […] Kings and their wives. The UNESCO World Heritage site is known as one of the most important Romanesque sites in Germany and the crypt is actually the largest Hall Crypt in Europe.Speyer Cathedral Hall Crypt […]

  3. […] Martin’s Cathedral dominates Mainz and rises up from the market.  This Romanesque and Gothic structure is big and […]

  4. […] around every corner.  The villages are as lovely as the natural environment. Sights range from Romanesque architecture to Arab remnants and from prehistoric relics to avant-garde art. San Mauricio Lake by […]

  5. […] From here you could visit the Romanesque Matthias Church.Ê This church reflects the history Budapest has endured and was even once […]

  6. […] I had a hard time telling the difference between Baroque, Gothic or Romanesque, we spent some time learning a bit about all that wonderful architecture found in European […]

  7. […] castles are a sight to behold and are examples of Romanesque, Rococo, Gothic and Baroque architectural styles. Neuschwanstein Castle by […]

  8. […] far we have experienced Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture in Europe.  Continuing with this series, let’s take a look at […]

  9. […] last few months we discovered more about Romanesque and Gothic architecture.  Today it is time to delve into Baroque architecture. As usual, I have […]

  10. […] last few months we discovered more about Romanesque and Gothic architecture.  Today it is time to delve into Baroque architecture. As usual, I have […]

  11. […] month I explained some of the attributes of Romanesque architecture.  Today I will delve into the world of Gothic architecture in […]

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