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Hungary
The art and artwork of 12th century Hungary was influenced first by the French Early Gothic and
then later by the Czech and German forms of this style. The main form of painting in the 12th
century continued to be the creation of frescoes such as those that demonstrate the Gothic in
Kakaslomnic, Szepesség and in the sanctuary of the Premonstrant provostal church of Ócsa.
An early example of French Gothic architecture can be seen in the chapel of the royal castle of
Esztergom, built at the turn of the century.
Italy
Cefalu Cathedral stands as a powerful signifier of the Norman presence in Sicily. Dating from
1131 A.D, the Cathedral is one of numerous churches built in Sicily under 12th century Norman
rule. The building sits powerfully overlooking a mediaeval town on the coast with a facade of
two characteristically Norman square towers. As a natural midpoint between the Eastern and
the Western Mediterranean regions, Sicily, after successive occupations, can be seen as a
melting pot of different cultures and races. The Normans, known to have accepted local
characteristics, often produced an idiosyncratic mixture of styles, and the Cathedral of Cefalu
demonstrates such synthesis of cultures. While the Romanesque exterior of the Cathedral is
characteristic of Sicilian architecture of the period, the interior contains the oldest Byzantine
mosaics in Sicily, an influence of Byzantine control of Sicily from the 6th to the 9th century. The
Cloister with its binal columns surmounted by pointed arches dates from about 1162-70 A.D,
and is the first of its kind in Sicily
The Netherlands
In the 12th century, Flemish architecture echoed the artistic developments of mediaeval
mainstream Europe. The style of the Romanesque persisted throughout most of the century
gradually developing into the Gothic. An important example of the Late Romanesque and Early
Gothic which began construction in the 12th century is the cathedral at Touriai. The cathedral
demonstrates the transition of Romanesque to Gothic. The Cathedral has a Romanesque nave
(built during the first third of the century), an Early Gothic transept (added mid century) and a
distinctly Gothic choir which replaced the Romanesque choir in the 13th century. The church
displays several unique features which would later become adopted in the French Gothic
churches such as the 4 storey elevation of the ‘viaduct’ structure in the nave and its five bell
towers. In other crafts, metal and enamelwork was developing with the work of Rainer of Huy,
Godefroid de Claire, and Nicholas of Verdun.
Poland
The elaborately decorated bronze Gniezno Doors which sit in Gniezno Cathedral in Poland
provide evidence of the importance of the continuing dominance of religion in 12th century
Europe. The beginning of the 12th century saw Poland as a fractured state following the death
of Boleslaw Chrobry.
The Christianisation of Poland and introduction of Latin ensured the acceptance of Poland into
the Western Christian family and helped heal any divisions. Christianity therefore was as
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