Know The Features of Romanesque

Know The Features of Romanesque
Know The Features of Romanesque
Know The Features of Romanesque

Romanesque started in the centuries XI, XII, and part of XIII in Western Europe. It is called Romanesque by its predecessor, Roman art. It was intended to give continuity to the art developed by the Roman Empire, and it was also because of the appearance of Romance languages ​​(Romanesque or Neo-Latin, which arise as an evolution of Vulgar Latin. Etymologically it was Latin “spoken by the people”).

It is the first unitary Christian European art. Causes: pilgrimages, monasteries (Benedictine monastic order). For example Monastery of Cluny.

Romanesque: Circumstances And Historical Context

Until the tenth century, the political situation was very convulsive. Invasions occurred (barbaric, Muslim, etc.). When they are finished, religion will unify all of Europe.

Although in the 10th century we will find ourselves in a situation of external stability, internal conflicts caused by the nobility will occur. That is why the architecture of the romanesque period has a defensive aspect.

The society was feudal and static. The year 1000: there is a greater unification of the Church and the people are closer to it. Art will become a transmitter of spirituality (word of God and fear of the wrath of God) of these centuries.


Architecture is the fundamental part, and painting and sculpture will be subject to architecture in the romanesque period.

Know The Features of Romanesque
Know The Features of Romanesque
  • General characteristics
  • Material: Mainly, the stone (limestone, slate, etc.), although brick sometimes features in too.
  • Elevation: the constructions are longer than tall. The walls are thick and without spans (windows). The Rosette is a highlight, which is the main source of light for the monasteries. The height is because of the central nave and towers.
  • Basilical: generally of 3 ships finished in apses.
  • Latin cross: they can be 1, 3 or 5 ships. They can have one or more transverse ships. The apse transform into Girola so that people could pass and see the relics of the saints. They can also have apses in the transverse ships, called Absidioli.
  • Supporting elements
  • Arches: half point. It will reinforce by molding and sometimes the segments have two decorative colors (white and red or black and white).
  • Columns: There are no following classic orders. They will be of a smooth shaft and base. The capitals are going to be ornate.
  • Pilar: the cruciforms supported cajones and former arches.
  • Sustained Elements
  • Vaults: of Cañón (it is the main and the most used), of Arista (it distributes the weight better and it will be used for the lateral ships.
  • Domes: called Cimborrios. It is the cylindrical or octagonal body that serves as the basis for the dome.
  • Rosette: a circular window that represents the Virgin Mary and that served to illuminate.
  • Blind arches: Porches or Porches
  • Dangerous areas: front page, header, cruise zone

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