Saint Sernin Of Toulouse And Notre Dame Of Paris Essay

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Saint Sernin of Toulouse and Notre Dame of Paris

When one thinks of St. Sernin and Notre Dame, one tends to think of two beautiful cathedrals, not to churches that portray two totally different styles of architecture. Those two styles are, of course, Romanesque in St. Sernin and the Gothic style of Notre Dame. Some characteristics that these two buildings share include quest for height, basic floor plan, and artistic flair. The period of Romanesque architecture, which lasted roughly from 1050 A.D. to 1150
A.D., concentrated mainly on achieving massive proportions, rounded vaulted bays, the round arch, the wall buttress, cylindrical apse and chapels, and towers.
Early Gothic architecture, which began in 1144 with the
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The cathedrals were designed to draw vast numbers of people them, therefore they were built so that one might not only come to worship, but to see the beauty of the structure. Even to this day people are in awe of these building, and come more to stare at their beauty than to worship God.

Regardless of how many likeness' we are able to find between the
Romanesque style of St. Sernin and the Gothic style of Notre Dame, it is the difference that make them so amazing. In my opinion there are three major differences in Early Gothic and Romanesque styles of architecture. These are the differences in buttresses, the use of towers, and the use of windows. From the exterior, one of the first differences one would notice is the use of flying buttresses in Gothic architecture. Where in Romanesque buildings, standard buttresses would have been used, the buttresses on Gothic buildings were detached from the building. This created a more open essence to the church and in my opinion a more "spiritual" look. As far as the towers go, in
Romanesque structure the towers were used as a more central figure, while in
Gothic construction, the towers were used more as an entrance structure. Most importantly though, is the different use of light. In Romanesque structures, as is obvious in St. Sernin, it was realized that in a structure as big as a cathedral, much light was
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