Download ARCHITECTURE Romanesque parish churches: ”PIEVI”

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Romanesque parish churches: ”PIEVI”
Since the 11th and 12th century Western Europe faced an astonishing growth of economy and population,
therefore the inhabitants of rural villages needed the construction of new religious buildings, the so-called
“pievi”, from the Latin word “plebs”.
They were built along important roads of communication and numerous of them are situated in the
surroundings of Arezzo thanks to its strategic location in the heart of Italy.
The structure of “pievi” is simple. Capitals are the only decorative elements and they represent elements of
nature and human labour as well as symbols of Christianity.
The apses are another beautiful architectural element; the interiors of these buildings are quite dark, but very
picturesque in their simplicity. The light filters through narrow single, double or triple lancet windows.
Pieve di Santa Maria
It is situated in the old part of Arezzo and it is the symbol of the town and a high bell-tower, completed in
1330, soars on the right. The facade of the 13th cent. is in Pisan-Lucchese Romanesque style and consists of
a row of three tiers of loggias with small columns, each one of a different design.
Santa Eugenia al Bagnoro
The ancient parish church dates back to the 6th-7th century. It is now located two metres below the level of
the ground, which has risen over the course of the centuries, because of alluvial material coming down from
the hill Lignano above Arezzo.
S. Pietro di Romena
It is isolated in an open, beautiful countryside and is one of the most charming historical buildings of the
Casentino Valley. The church was built in the mid-12th century over an Etruscan settlement and a pre-existing
edifice, perhaps dating back to the 8th century.
The façade is simple and rustic. The apse and the two aisles embellished with two tiers of arcades with
small columns and capitals are full of charm. The interior of the church is divided into three naves with
monolithic columns; on their tops there are raw, but fascinating capitals carved with leaves, Christian symbols,
animals and human figures.
S.Pietro a Gropina
Under the floor of the present Pieve there are the remains of a Roman construction and of two previous
smaller religious buildings –
The church has the form of a basilica and its interior is divided into three naves with odd capitals which match
sacred and profane figures.
Pieve di Santa Maria
Santa Eugenia al Bagnoro
S. Pietro di Romena
S.Pietro a Gropina
The castle, which in the origin was just a defensive structure, during the Middle Ages also became a
residence of noble families and the centre of administration.
It usually consists of three fundamental elements: the castle-walls, the keep, the fortified area which
included also a living area and the“palatium”, the lord’s residence.
The walls and the towers had two different battlements: Guelphs and the so-called Ghibelline.
In Italy, in the 14th-15th century, peculiar examples are the Bargello and the Palazzo della Signoria in
An example in our area is the the Castle of Counts Guidi in Poppi,
It was the domain of the Counts Guidi, who in the 12th century built this imposing castle. The grand and
well preserved complex dominates both the Casentino valley and the Apennine ridge.
Guelfs battlements
Ghibelline battlemen
Castle in Poppi
Florence is the city that gave birth to the Renaissance.
Seigniories, the development of Humanism brought to the study of any expression of the Roman art.
The economic power of these families channelled resources towards housing in towns.
This new very rich and cultured class, the interest in the classic Latin culture brought about one of the
most important revolutions in cultural history, and not just Italian, the Renaissance.
The new ideals of Renaissance society were self-sufficiency, civic virtue, intelligence and almost unlimited
trust in man's abilities.
Main characteristics of Renaissance architecture
The dome.
It is the characteristic element of all the Renaissance churches. It represents the Renaissance idea of the
man as a master of the environment thanks to his ability and intelligence.
The building of the dome on Florence cathedral, by Filippo Brunelleschi, can be considered one of
the Renaissance's main building enterprises.
Linear perspective is owned to Brunelleschi as well.
Roman art: research of a classic and harmonious style with round arches , columns and capitals.
Symmetry : The ideal building is definitely symmetric based more on horizontal than vertical lines.
Architectural order: strict rules to be respected to tie all the various parts of a building in order to obtain a
well- proportioned style.
Pope Pius II wanted to transform Pienza, a town in the province of Siena, into an ideal Renaissance town
in order to realize a visible example of the Renaissance concept of beauty and harmony.
The dome by F. Brunelleschi Linear perspective
Symmetry and architectural order
Palaces and Villas: palaces in towns and villas in the country were built in order to satisfy the life style of
this aristocratic class and they were copied from Roman villas.
Different results can be seen in the various Italian Courts.
E.g. Palladian Villas of Veneto
In Ferrara Palazzo Diamanti is named for the unusual shape of the over 8,500 marble blocks on the
Palazzo Te in Mantua: The architect commissioned was Giulio Romano, a pupil of Raphael
The Ducal Palace in Mantua, the home of the Gonzaga, has over 500 rooms, including the famous
Camera degli Sposi with frescoes dated 1474 painted by Mantegna.
The Ducal Palace in Urbino is a beautiful construction in the region Marche.
Palladian Villa
Palazzo Diamanti
Palazzo Te
Palazzo Ducale in Urbino
The dome of the Cathedral( 1420/14369) by Filippo Brunelleschi.
He was able to adopt new techniques succeeding in lightening the load of the dome and he was an example
for the architects of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Basilca of San Lorenzo: it was the parish church of the Medici family and Filippo Brunelleschi was
commissioned to design it.
The Medici Chapels : almost fifty members of the family are buried in the crypt.
The Pazzi Chapel: it is another magnificent work by Brunelleschi (1430-1446). It shows a magnificent purity of
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella (1456–1470)
The façade is by Leon Battista Alberti who had the task to complete the church without creating any
discrepancy with the inferior part in gothic style.
Spedale degli Innocenti
The building is in Piazza Santissima Annunziata and was built in 1419 as a home for orphans and children in
difficult circumstances. Its forms are simple and light, typical of the 15th century architectural language.
On the facade, the terracotta medallions of newborn babies between the round arches are by Andrea della
Medici Riccardi Palace
It was the first Renaissance palace built for Cosimo the 1st. He and Lorenzo de' Medici lived here, but the
palace was abandoned by Grand Duke Cosimo I in 1540 when he and his wife moved to Palazzo Vecchio.
Then Marchesi Riccardi bought the palace in 1610.
Palazzo Strozzi
It was planned by Benedetto da Maiano.The evidence of its magnificence can be found in the fact that 15
houses were destroyed in order to build this palace.
Palazzo Pitti
The palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 and it grew as a great treasure house as later generations
amassed paintings, plates, jewellery and luxurious possessions. Various modifications took place during the
Later it was the residence of the Lorena and of the Savoy family who gave it to the Italian State in 1919. Now
houses several important collections of works of art.
Uffizi Palace (1560-1565)
Cosimo I de' Medici decided to build the Palace, whose construction was started by Giorgio Vasari in 1560,
because Palazzo Vecchio, which also overlooks Piazza della Signoria, had become too small.
Uffizi Palace is connected with Pitti Palace trough Vasari Corridor crossing the Lungarno and Ponte Vecchio.
Palazzo Rucellai
It was built in the second half of the 15th cent. based on a design by Leon Battista Alberti for the Rucellai, a
wealthy mercantile family.
San Lorenzo
Santa Maria Novella
Uffizi Palace
Vasari Corridor
palazzo Strozzi
Renaissance Architecture in Arezzo
Arezzo is above all a medieval town, but some artists from Florence and Vasari as well, brought some
Renaissance changes.
Fraternita di Santa Maria della Misericordia, so called dei Laici which forms the western side of Piazza
Grande has a well proportional façade that features Gothic and early Renaissance building styles.
It was a charitable institution founded in 1262, and even today its major aims are to give assistance, to
realize cultural events and to preserve artistic heritage so that citizens can benefit of it.
The cove-vaulted bell-tower (Vasari school), including a famous clock, was built in the 16th cent..
Palazzo delle Logge Vasari
When the construction of this building was decided in 1570 the upper part of the square was a heap of
rubble, the remains of the public buildings demolished by Cosimo 1st de’ Medici. “To fill the gap” Giorgio
Vasari was given the task to build a loggia for “ the public honour and convenience of the town”.
Medieval and Modern Art Museum
The palace was built in 1445. Also in this building a good balance is obtained between the inferior part in
gothic style and the upper one in Renaissance style.
Giorgio Vasari’s House
Vasari bought this house under reconstruction, because he suffered from homesickness The building,
which now houses the Vasari Museum and Archive, is in two floors and contains very interesting frescoes
by Vasari. It is one of the finest residence in the Tuscan mannerist style.
Santissima Annunziata
After a miracle a new Church was built in 1491 in the site of a small Oratory.
In 1504 the Sangallo brothers added the harmonious vestibule, one of the finest expressions of the mature
Renaissance in Arezzo.
Santa Maria delle Grazie
This monumental complex includes a building and a large and grassy courtyard which was completed
in1443. In 1478 Benedetto da Maiano added the graceful portico with seven arches on slender Corinthian
columns to the church.
Fraternita di S.Maria
Logge Vasari
Vasari’s House
S.Maria delle Grazie