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Travel is a powerful force in shaping the perception of the modern world Whilst students often learn about architectural history through image.
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Events see articles. Golf see articles. Jewish Heritage see articles. Porto see articles. Porto by night see articles. The Portuguese Santiago Route see articles. Religious Festivities see articles. Romance see articles. Short breaks see articles. Family Travels see articles. World Heritage see articles. Filter Content. What to do. Contemporary Architecture in Porto Find out more. The Byzantine Empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from the Roman Empire after AD , when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to Byzantium later renamed Constantinople and now called Istanbul.

The empire endured for more than a millennium, dramatically influencing Medieval and Renaissance-era architecture in Europe and, following the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in , leading directly to the architecture of the Ottoman Empire. Early Byzantine architecture was built as a continuation of Roman architecture. Stylistic drift , technological advancement , and political and territorial changes meant that a distinct style gradually emerged which imbued certain influences from the Near East and used the Greek cross plan in church architecture.

Buildings increased in geometric complexity , brick and plaster were used in addition to stone in the decoration of important public structures, classical orders were used more freely, mosaics replaced carved decoration, complex domes rested upon massive piers , and windows filtered light through thin sheets of alabaster to softly illuminate interiors. This Byzantine style, with increasingly exotic domes and ever-richer mosaics, traveled west to Ravenna and Venice and as far north as Moscow. Most of the churches and basilicas have high-riding domes.

As result, they created vast open spaces at the centres of churches, heightening the sense of grace and light.

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The round arch is a fundamental of Byzantine style. Magnificent golden mosaics with their graphic simplicity and immense power brought light and warmth into the heart of churches.

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Byzantine capitals break away from the Classical conventions of ancient Greece and Rome. Sinuous lines and naturalistic forms are precursors to the Gothic style. According to descriptions, interiors were plated with marble or stone. Some of the columns were also made of marble. Other widely used materials were bricks and stone, not just marble like in Classical Antiquity. Precious wood furniture, like beds, chairs, stools, tables, bookshelves and silver or golden cups with beautiful reliefs, decorated Byzantine interiors.

Hagia Sofia in Constantinopol , present-day Istanbul Turkey , built between and Apse of the Santa Maria Maggiore church in Rome , decorated in the 5th century with this glamorous mosaic. The Little Metropolis in Athens , built on unknown dates, between the 9th century to the 13th century.

While these terms are problematic, they nonetheless serve adequately as entries into the era.

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Considerations that enter into histories of each period include Trachtenberg 's "historicising" and "modernising" elements, Italian versus northern, Spanish, and Byzantine elements, and especially the religious and political maneuverings between kings, popes, and various ecclesiastic officials. Romanesque, prevalent in medieval Europe during the 11th and 12th centuries, was the first pan-European style since Roman Imperial architecture and examples are found in every part of the continent. The term was not contemporary with the art it describes, but rather, is an invention of modern scholarship based on its similarity to Roman architecture in forms and materials.

Romanesque is characterized by a use of round or slightly pointed arches, barrel vaults, and cruciform piers supporting vaults. Interior of the Durham Cathedral in Durham England , built between and , additions until Verticality is emphasized in Gothic architecture, which features almost skeletal stone structures with great expanses of glass, pared-down wall surfaces supported by external flying buttresses , pointed arches using the ogive shape, ribbed stone vaults, clustered columns, pinnacles and sharply pointed spires.

Windows contain beautiful stained glass , showing stories from the Bible and from lives of saints. Such advances in design allowed cathedrals to rise taller than ever, and it became something of an inter-regional contest to build a church as high as possible. Statues in the central tympanum of the Chartres Cathedral , about 80 km 50 miles southwest of Paris,. Stained glass windows of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, completed in , mostly constructed between and The architectural history of Russia is conditioned by Orthodox Eastern Europe: unlike the West, yet similarly, if tenuously, linked with the traditions of classical antiquity through Byzantium.

It has experienced from time to time westernising movements that culminated in the comprehensive reforms of Peter the Great around From prehistoric times the material of vernacular Russian architecture was wood. Byzantine churches and the architecture of Kievan Rus were characterized by broader, flatter domes without a special framework erected above the drum. In contrast to this ancient form, each drum of a Russian church is surmounted by a special structure of metal or timber, which is lined with sheet iron or tiles.

Some characteristics taken from the Slavic pagan temples are the exterior galleries and the plurality of towers.

The Saint Basil's Cathedral is one of Russia's most distinctive sights. Built by Tsar Ivan IV a. Ivan the Terrible to commemorate his defeat of the Mongols at the battle Kazan in , it stands just outside the Kremlin in the Red Square , in the heart of Moscow. Its extraordinary onion-shaped domes , painted in bright colours, create a memorable skyline, making St.

Basil's Cathedral a symbol both of Moscow and Russia as a whole.


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Their colours are unusual, most of the Russian domes being either plain or gilded. Originally, the dome at St. Basil's Cathedral had a gold finish, with some blue and green ceramic decoration. The bright, painted colours were added at various times from the 17th to the 19th century. Interior of the Palace of Facets , part of the Moscow Kremlin , built between and John the Baptist Church , built between and , on the bank of Kotorosl river in the Tolchkovo sloboda district.

The Renaissance often refers to the Italian Renaissance that began in the 14th century, but recent research has revealed the existence of similar movements around Europe before the 15th century; consequently, the term " Early Modern " has gained popularity in describing this cultural movement.

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This period of cultural rebirth is often credited with the restoration of scholarship in the Classical Antiquities and the absorption of new scientific and philosophical knowledge that fed the arts. The development from Medieval architecture concerned the way geometry mediated between the intangibility of light and the tangibility of the material as a way of relating divine creation to mortal existence.

This relationship was changed in some measure by the invention of Perspective which brought a sense of infinity into the realm of human comprehension through the new representations of the horizon, evidenced in the expanses of space opened up in Renaissance painting, and helped shape new humanist thought. Perspective represented a new understanding of space as a universal, a priori fact, understood and controllable through human reason.

Renaissance buildings therefore show a different sense of conceptual clarity, where spaces were designed to be understood in their entirety from a specific fixed viewpoint. The power of Perspective to universally represent reality was not limited to describing experiences, but also allowed it to anticipate experience itself by projecting the image back into reality. The southwest interior facade of the Cour Carree of the Louvre in Paris was designed by Lescot and covered with exterior carvings by Jean Goujon.

In England the first great exponent of Renaissance architecture was Inigo Jones — , who had studied architecture in Italy where the influence of Palladio was very strong. Jones returned to England full of enthusiasm for the new movement and immediately began to design such buildings as the Queen's House at Greenwich in and the Banqueting House at Whitehall three years later. These works with their clean lines and symmetry, were revolutionary in a country still enamoured with mullion windows, crenellations and turrets.


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The Florence Cathedral , built between and in Florence Italy. Interior of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, built between 18 April and 18 November Houses of this type were built between about and , examples of Dutch Renaissance architecture. With the rise of various European colonial empires from the 16th century onward through the early 20th century, the new stylistic trends of Europe were exported to or adopted by locations around the world, often evolving into new regional variations. The Baroque and its late variant the Rococo were the first truly global styles in the arts.

Dominating more than two centuries of art and architecture in Europe , Latin America and beyond from circa to circa , they were the first to focus so intensely on their impact on the viewer, and they owed much of their popularity and global scope to this visual allure.

The Counter-Reformation stated that architecture, painting and sculpture would play an important role in transforming Rome into a truly Catholic city.

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The streets radiating from St. Peters Cathedral were soon dotted with reminders of the victorious faith. Breaking with the somewhat static intellectual formulas of the Renaissance, Baroque architecture was first and foremost an art of persuasion. Important developments in science and philosophy had separated mathematical representations of reality from the rest of culture, fundamentally changing the way humans related to their world through architecture. Baroque architects took the basic elements of Renaissance architecture , including domes and colonnades, and made them higher, grander, more decorated, and more dramatic.

The interior effects were often achieved with the use of Quadratura , or trompe-l'oeil painting combined with sculpture; The eye is drawn upward, giving the illusion that one is looking into the heavens.