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Romanesque Architecture

             Romanesque architecture was established in western Europe and was used from about 1000A. After Rome fell in 476, Roman culture was spread by the Christian church. By the end of the pre-Romanesque period Roman styles had fused with elements from the Byzantium Empire and the middle east, and from the Germans, the Celts, and other northern tribes in western Europe. These various combinations created a number of local styles, called Romanesque, meaning "in the manner of the roman." Bunch material.
             An extraordinary achievement of Romanesque architects was the use of stone vaulted buildings. This was a ceiling over a room built in a variety of curved shapes. This new type of building style replaced the highly flammable wooden roofs and walls of pre-Romanesque structures. Although vaults were a huge breakthrough, they posed their own set of problems. These problems were resolved with structures such as, the dome, round and pointed vaults, and plain and ribbed groined vaulting. To support the heavy stone vaults, architects used massive walls and piers which created a typical building plan that treated the entire structure as a complex composed of smaller units, called bays. Bays are square or rectangular spaces enclosed by groin vaults and used by architects as the basic building unit. .
             A prime example of the Romanesque style is found in the Fuentiduena Chapel, which is currently located at the Cloisters medieval museum. This limestone constructed beauty was functioned as a chapel for an adjacent castle constructed of more than two thousand massive blocks of stone. Features of this chapel include a dome ceiling, vaulted walls, and an elevated crucifix.
             The fresco that dominates the apse is of the virgin and child (Mary and Christ). In the fresco, Mary is the largest figure. On either side of her is one winged figure. These two winged figures represent the biblical Michael and Gabriel. These two Angels are the second largest figures represented in the fresco.

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