Romanesque

Romanesque Arch

Round arches, built with carefully dressed blocks of stone, such as are found in Roman ampitheatres, theatres and aqueducts, are Romanesque architecture's most essential feature. Arches may be used at the entrance to a building, often with one archway set inside another to give emphasis to a doorway. They may be set above columns or square piers to provide an arcade dividing the space of a church into a central nave with aisles on either side; a monumental arch will usually mark the division between the nave and the sanctuary, or chancel, of a church and the windows of a Romanesque building are normally round-headed. Romanesque designers employed a range of features to enrich the interior of a building. Often the most important arches had groups of columns attached to their sides and the arch itself was divided into several arches, one set inside the other and decorated with lozenge, zig-zag and other abstract patters of sculpture. Blind arcading a system of arches and columns applied to a wall is a popular form of enrichment in a Romanesque interior and the architectural elements, such as the bases and capitals of the columns are usually carved. This decorative work was set off against walls built with regular blocks of squared stone or plastered interiors.

Irish Architectural Archives
Romanesque Arch
Irish Architectural Archives

Romanesque Arch

Round arches, built with carefully dressed blocks of stone, such as are found in Roman ampitheatres, theatres and aqueducts, are Romanesque architecture's most essential feature. Arches may be used at the entrance to a building, often with one archway set inside another to give emphasis to a doorway. They may be set above columns or square piers to provide an arcade dividing the space of a church into a central nave with aisles on either side; a monumental arch will usually mark the division between the nave and the sanctuary, or chancel, of a church and the windows of a Romanesque building are normally round-headed. Romanesque designers employed a range of features to enrich the interior of a building. Often the most important arches had groups of columns attached to their sides and the arch itself was divided into several arches, one set inside the other and decorated with lozenge, zig-zag and other abstract patters of sculpture. Blind arcading a system of arches and columns applied to a wall is a popular form of enrichment in a Romanesque interior and the architectural elements, such as the bases and capitals of the columns are usually carved. This decorative work was set off against walls built with regular blocks of squared stone or plastered interiors.

Irish Architectural Archives
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Romanesque architecture originated in France and Germany about the year 1000. It is a solid and robust style of architecture which uses features derived from the example of Roman antique buildings. Round arches, built with carefully dressed blocks of stone, such as are found in Roman ampitheatres, theatres and aqueducts, are its most essential feature.

Arches may be used at the entrance to a building, often with one archway set inside another to give emphasis to a doorway. They may be set above columns or square piers to provide an arcade dividing the space of a church into a central nave with aisles on either side; a monumental arch will usually mark the division between the nave and the sanctuary, or chancel, of a church and the windows of a Romanesque building are normally round-headed. The plans of Romanesque churches often make use of an apse - a semi-circular extension - to mark a special area in the building, such as a side chapel or the chancel. Apses were usually covered by a half-dome and a semi-circular stone vault was used to make the ceiling.

Romanesque designers employed a range of features to enrich the interior of a building. Often the most important arches had groups of columns attached to their sides and the arch itself was divided into several arches, one set inside the other and decorated with lozenge, zig-zag and other abstract patters of sculpture. Blind arcading - a system of arches and columns applied to a wall - is a popular form of enrichment in a Romanesque interior and the architectural elements, such as the bases and capitals of the columns are usually carved. This decorative work was set off against walls built with regular blocks of squared stone or plastered interiors.


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