Roman Culture Influence On American Architecture

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One of the most interesting things about architecture is how the cultural ideas of a certain time period shape architectural form. Culture reflects the ideals and the entire way of life of a group of people. As cultural ideas change over time, so do the buildings that go with it. While there are broad periods where many cultures had a set of shared beliefs, each region had its own twist on the physical interpretation of those values. Romanesque architecture emerged from a time of religion and war. Gothic style reflected the shift of the masses to an urban setting. The Renaissance’s desire for art and mathematical order was reflected in the construction of that time. The following paragraphs will discuss how culture influenced architectural …show more content…
In 476, the Roman emperor was finally overthrown by these groups, after which no Roman emperor ever ruled again. After the fall of the Roman empire, Charlemagne rose to conquer most of Europe. He is one of the main reasons for the spread of the Romanesque style as he wanted Christian churches built all over his domain. The spread also occurred as Romans fled across the countryside, which, in turn, spread their culture. In Britain, the Romanesque style was known as Norman because the style was instigated in that area by William the Conqueror, who had invaded Britain from Normandy. The term Romanesque comes from the use of Roman style of arches and the barrel style of buildings from Charlemagne’s day. Romanesque means “in the Roman manner.” The Roman style of architecture could be seen in many self-sufficient settlements and often were centered around a church. The structures themselves were clearly defined by certain characteristics. The curved arch is the basis for all structures in this type of style, which would be characteristically different from the Gothic pointed arches that would follow. The buildings in these settlements were characterized by heavy, block-like walls. Large columns were needed to hold up the heavy arches. Simple geometric shapes, like circles or rectangles, were used in the design. The interior tended to emphasize the contrast of lights and shadows as vaulting became more sophisticated. Another significant feature of this style are the capitals which are round on the bottom, square on the top, and sit on a circular column where is supports a wall or arch. This is where many of the religious scenes, that will be discussed later, were carved. This style was one of the first to use stone instead of wood since it was the only thing strong enough to support the heavy

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