The Medieval Period

Length: 4 Pages 1021 Words

Medieval Period The medieval period encompasses a long span of years when castles, churches and many other great buildings were built. The way the people of the time built tells us a lot about the lifestyle of the people, particularly the wealthy and each country reflects their own style of architecture. The Roman Empire had crumbled and Christianity was rising in strength. The world was in unrest and the architecture of the time reflects that. Furnishings had to be easy to move from place to place. Main rooms were relocated to the first floor, while the ground floor was used for storage or to keep the animals. There were not a lot of windows and the ones that were there were small. Sometimes they were decorated with stained glass that could be removed for safekeeping. During this time brick was used as a principle construction material and they also dressed their buildings in costly marbles. There was still a central hall that had numerous uses. Again the furniture was often being moved to accommodate these different purposes. A hammer beam roof was needed to span the huge space. Some places had stone vaulting that might be painted a deep blue with stars. This room had a large fireplace that might be decorat Continue...


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Churches came to be built in the shape of a Latin cross. The aisles went to the long sides and the entrance was to the short aisles. In India they went from temples cut out of rock to free standing structures decorated with intricate details. Spain popularized pointed terracotta roofs. The walls were whitewashed over plaster that was applied to stonework. Important furniture was huge and often silver and gold. Green, black, brown and yellow coloured ceramic tiles were also used for decoration. It also had a tall hood on brackets. From Islam we get vividly coloured encaustic tiles and elaborate hanging curtains. La Zisa in Palermo had marble wall treatments and coloured tiles, extensive mosaics, stalactite vaults and indoor fountains. The altar was enclosed by screens of marble and wood trelliswork to keep it separate form the public. The roofs and ceilings were timber with magnificent decoration and sometimes covered in gold. After a period this there was a resurgence of Christianity and basilica's came back (Carolingian renaissance).

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