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The Romanesque and Gothic manuscripts presented together in the source readings, this combination directly took my mind to a subject I’m heavily interested in; these styles reflection on architecture since the period of their emergence.

Some 6 orr 7 years ago, I’ve been to a Prague-Vienna(sequentially) vacation, architecture not being a subject of my life but just an enough interest in it, I was amazed by the difference between where I live and how those two cities were constructed. The regular buildings, especially in Prague were extremely brutal, for me and probably for the rest of the world. Besides their massive appearance, they also looked pretty dark in color, giving a reference for their birth dates. The city’s big your body’s small, your body’s short the city’s tall.

Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of the medieval era in Europe, clearly recognized by their pointed arches. The synthesis of Roman and Byzantine styles ended up massive, tall and thick buildings, mostly out of concrete. Besides the thickness of the walls, other characteristics that help you recognize a romanesque style are the round/pointed arches, peaking towers and decorated arcading. They have a uniquely defined form, and one significant detail about romanesque constructions is that they are mostly planned to be built symmetrically. This actually is one key factor that differentiates romanesque from the gothic.

Many medieval period castles and churches are built in romanesque style:

 

 

Back to Prague, there are several significant Romanesque style buildings in the city that I remember of.

St. George’s Rotunda(above)

 

Lund Cathedral(above)

 

Gothic architecture is an extension of the romanesque architecture, that also blossomed out during the medieval.  Gothic architecture emerged in France(Europe in general) and for a while was known as the French Style in architecture. The style’s details are the pointed arch likewise the romanesque, yet two other units as a ribbed vault and and the flying buttress.

Gothic architecture is also used in the construction of churches and cathedrals as a matter of fact, but besides those units, also palaces and universities are two other area of practice. What I experiences in Prague and Vienna was a transition of emotions, in a brutal sense.

Besides the above mentioned districts, England is another considerable location -which I visited this summer for an architectural photography course- and also Italy and Spain- Barcelona expecially.

“The architectural style of Sagrada Familia has been called “warped Gothic,” and it’s easy to see why. The rippling contours of the stone façade make it look as though Sagrada Familia is melting in the sun, while the towers are topped with brightly-colored mosaics which look like bowls of fruit. Gaudí believed that color is life, and, knowing that he would not live to see completion of his masterpiece, left colored drawings of his vision for future architects to follow.” (http://architecture.about.com/od/greatbuildings/ig/Antoni-Gaud-/Sagrada-Familia-.htm)

 

The Barbican Centre, in London, which I visited several times this summer, was built after World War II. The centre is a huge complex of the gallery, theater etc which synthesizes function and form, either one following the other as a general term of architectural study. At the edge of the Barbican complex, you can still see remnants of the medieval city walls, which are also characterized as Gothic. The Barbican Trade Building itself cannot be recalled as in Gothic style yet as London is a garden-city, constructed out of low base buildings, the Barbican is way too complex and brutal for the rest of the city.

Here are a few photos I have taken during my visits, that could give an idea about the complex structure of the centre:

 

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