February 23, 2018

Baroque: The Emotional Style

The last few months we discovered more about Romanesque and Gothic architecture.  Today it is time to delve into Baroque architecture. As usual, I have included pictures of European gems in this style.

Queluz Palace fountains Portugal

Queluz Palace fountains Portugal by Husond

Baroque architecture came to prominence during the 17th century.  Starting in Italy before spreading first to France and then the rest of Europe, this style can best be described as showing majesty, opulence and radiance both in design and size.

Castle Howard, North Yorkshire England

Castle Howard, North Yorkshire England

The dramatic intensity of this style indicates supremacy.  The ornamentation showing up in the style indicates both the emotion of the era but also wealth and power.  At this time, the Church and Kings once again were given absolute power.  This power was manifested through this architectural style both in churches, cathedrals and palaces.

Wilanów Palace in Warsaw Poland by Wistula

Wilanów Palace in Warsaw Poland by Wistula


Vierzehnheiligen Basilika near Bamberg Bavaria Germany
Vierzehnheiligen Basilika near Bamberg Germany by Asio otus


Some distinctive features of the Baroque style include:
  • Naves of churches are wider and sometimes oval
  • There is a dramatic use of light either by contrasting shade and light or by including several windows
  • Large ceiling frescoes are prominent
  • There is an exuberant use of color and embellishment
  • Structures have a dramatic central projection
  • Domes appear pear shaped especially in Bavarian, Czech, Polish and Ukrainian design.
  • Curves became more important than the straight line
Karlskirche Vienna Austria

Karlskirche Vienna Austria by Gryffindor

Famous architects during the Baroque period include:  Carlo Maderno (Italy), Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italy), Francois Mansart (France) and Christopher Wren (England).

St Paul's Cathedral London

St Paul's Cathedral by stusmith_uk, Flickr

Chateau de Maison Lafitte France

Chateau de Maison Lafitte France

Facciata di San Pietro Rome Italy

Facciata di San Pietro Rome Italy by Urby2004









Many of the magnificent Baroque buildings we marvel at during our travels were designed and built by these illustrious architects.  Thanks to these visionaries of the past we are still able to visit their creations and explore the history created there.


What is your favorite Baroque building?

What is your favorite architectural style?

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  5. Very descriptive post, I loved that bit.

    Will there bbe a part 2?
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  6. I love this series about different types of architecture. Keep it up!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      It’s been fun and very educational for me too! I know can look at pictures and pick out the flying buttresses 🙂

  7. Katherina says:

    I loved this post – it reminded me of the times I attempted to study architecture….
    I like french baroque – like the one you can find in Versailles! But my very favorite style is definitely the moorish architecture you find in Granada and Cordoba. I could get lost for hours in the Alhambra and the Mezquita de Cordona. They’re fascinating!
    Katherina recently posted..Photo Essay- Gorge du Verdon- Provence

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I haven’t been to Spain yet but love pictures of Granada and Cordoba. I really like the colors of the Moorish architecture. I’ll have to look into that a little more.

  8. Andrea says:

    I adore Baroque architecture. It’s probably my favourite. I love this series you’re doing.
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  9. Laurel says:

    Interesting to learn more more about the baroque style, very informative post. I recently visited a baroque castle near Stuttgart. I think it’s one of the most elegant and ornate style for castles.
    Laurel recently posted..The Most Influential Person I Met While Living in Thailand

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Thanks Laurel. Baroque is very elegant and a joy to see. What castle did you visit or am I going to have to wait until you write about it? 🙂

  10. robin says:

    beatiful pictures – I always think that baroque buildings tend to look a bit like cakes…
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    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I never thought of that but I think you’re right! They do look a bit like cakes although my cakes have never turned out so beautiful 🙂

  11. Is Versailles Baroque? That would be my favorite.

  12. St Paul is nice (and has a fun whispering gallery as well).

    Among baroque buildings, I rather like the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. My favourite architectural style is a bit younger, though – Jugend (Art Nouveau).

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      The Winter Palace is beautiful! I need to look into Art Nouveau as I am not familiar with it at all. Oh well, something to learn.

  13. Could you imagine living at one of those estates? I think I could get used to living in a palace. 😉

    I don’t know a whole lot about the different architectural styles, so this was a great primer!
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    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I think I could too! Funny, over the weekend I saw an ad for some chateaus for sale in France. For a cool 1.5 million+ you could buy one. . . I did wonder how much it would be to refurb for a B & B and then how long to breakeven 🙂

  14. jade says:

    Wow- the one in Vienna is stunning. I love castles- it takes me back in time and I let my imagination run!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I actually couldn’t decide which ones to include and that is why there are so many! Castles are one of my favs too although I am not sure I have been able to put into words why. I just like them. . . a lot!

  15. Lisa says:

    I love exploring the architecture and the beauty of buildings. It feels as if so much love was put into designing and building them. Of those you displayed I love Vierzehnheiligen Basilika. It’s gorgeous!
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    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      The Vierzehnheiligen was one of my favorites too! Architecture is so amazing in any destination. It takes a very creative person to design such beauty.

  16. Interesting description of the Baroque style — learning experience for me. Not sure what my favorite building, but I have been to St. Paul’s and thought it was quite beautiful.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Boston from the Rooftops


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