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We found examples of central plant (circular or polygonal),
inherited from antiquity, but the most used is the basilica, steeped in
religious buildings from the early Christian art. Floor is a 3 or 5 ships.
The floor, of greater height than the side, is the active element and
act as lateral discharge elements. At the height, open windows
illuminate the interior. About the aisles, we can up the podium as we
shall see in so-called pilgrimage churches.
There may be a transept, called transept, not always marked
in the plan (if so, the plant is a Latin cross, a plant that will spread
throughout the medieval architecture).
The transept marks the separation between the space of the
faithful and the sacred space of the presbytery. The space in
which intersect is called cruise. The header area or sanctuary
(space around the altar) and is generally semicircular apse
Sometimes the head is formed by a large body of three or
more apses, the central radiating chapels. Sometimes, for
example in the churches of pilgrimage, is the ambulatory or
ambulatory passage around the altar and is an extension of the
aisles. In the apse and the transepts can open small shrines
called apses, to multiply the trades.
Every building is built on robust Romanesque foundations, often so deep
that allow the construction of vaults, funeral for a purpose under the
apse. On these foundations the load-bearing support of the
Romanesque building: the wall, the pillar and columns.
- The Wall in the Roman plays a key role in the closure and lift, as the
whole weight of the roof falls on him. The exterior is reinforced by
buttresses or pads (attached to the wall construction as a pillar).
Because of its support function, the walls are solid, thick (sometimes,
if necessary are built with double walls and rubble in the middle),
with a predominance of solid on the span, so that the surfaces are
decorated inside, which will lead to the development of mural
painting, and externally by elements such as moldings, pilasters ...
The windows are narrow and flared.
-The pillar is the most widely used free media because of the
weight of the dome. When the churches are the separation of
several ships by the pillar, a core of square or rectangular
bearing on their foreheads pilasters or half columns, one of
which extends across the wall of the nave to support the arc
corresponding girdle. Of the remaining three, two loaded arches
separating the aisles and the third by the side of the aisle holding
the arch separating the vaults covering the aisles. Gradually this
will complicate cruciform pillar to be added in the quarter-pillar
corners attached, to be above the pillar fasciculated Gothic.
- It still uses the column, but not respecting the classical
proportions and abandoning the use of the orders. The capital is
extremely important for the sculptural decoration.
The arc of a single center is half a circle.
The segments, wedge-shaped pieces
without vertex, forming the radial arc
available. The first slice is called skew. The
key is the central voussoir.
The lower surface is the inner surface of
the arc and the extrados which is the
outer surface.
The thread or space delimited by the
extrados and the intrados.
The fascia, which is the surface of which
starts the arc
The arrow is the height of an arc from its
start to the key light and the maximum
The cover. In the early days of the Roman wooden ceilings were
used in the tradition of the Christian basilicas, but frequent fires
raised the need to start using stone covered. This will be the most
important contribution of Romanesque architecture, the stone
vaulting throughout the building already had a background in
the Visigothic art and the Spaniard. In the early eleventh century
conducted the first tests of a barrel vault, the most characteristic
of the Romanesque.
The barrel vault is the result of displacement of a semicircular
arch along a longitudinal axis. Often reinforced by arches, which
absorb in part the weight of the vault and also serve to articulate
the interior space.
The vault is broken into several sections. The arches discharge
their weight in the interior supports. To cover the square spaces
(eg, lines through the aisles) are used the vaults, the result of
perpendicular intersection of two barrel vaults.
The exterior is notable for the clarity of its volume and by the
perfect correspondence between the outside and inside the
Inseparable from the exterior of the Romanesque churches
are the towers, symbol of the link between God and men and
testimony to the power of the Church, visible from anywhere. In
Santiago there were 9 towers. In the abbey of Cluny came to be
up to 10. These towers flanking the facade may appear in the
center of the cruise ... Their shapes are varied: a square, circular
or octagonal. Above the crossing rises the dome, square tower
or octagonal.
• The archivolts set of arcs whose width decreases progressively
flared. They displayed a rich sculptural decoration.
• The jambs, vertical element in the archivolt resting, and also
present sculptures. On them rests the lintel, the horizontal
element along with the archivolts defines the space of the
• The eardrum is the space bounded by the archivolt and the lintel,
intended to accommodate a major iconographic program of
sculptural decoration.
• The mullion vertical element which divides the input into two parts.
Santiago de Compostela
Saint Sernin (Toulouse)
Sainte Foy (Conques)