Talk:Romanesque architecture

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Cscr-former.svg Romanesque architecture is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
September 29, 2007 Featured article candidate Not promoted


Foolishly put up too many FACs simutaneously! Too much work to do!Amandajm 07:01, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

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This article uses British english dialect and spelling.
According to the relevant style guide, this should not be changed without broad consensus.

Re withdrawal from FAC[edit]

Peterborough Cathedral?[edit]


I don't understand Peterborough Cathedral is here as a romanesque building. It is of course an old cathedral but I can't there see any single romanesque part. I think we should move it to famus gothic structures.

The west facade is evidently newer (Gothic), but the elavation is definitely Romanesque. -- Petri Krohn 23:37, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
This is only a drawing. Ia saw this cathedral in real ant haven't seen there any romanesque part. Have you photo of the elavation?

Peterborough Cathedral[edit]

Peterborough is one of the most magnificent Romanesque structures in England. It is beyond any doubt a Romanesque building.

However, all the Medieval cathedrals of England, but one, was built over a very long period of time. (Salisbury was built in only two stages and was not begun until the Gothic period.) Most English Cathedrals have Norman (Romanesque) remnants and some have Saxon.

In the case of Peterborough, the church was constructed, beginning at the East between 1117 and 1193 entirely in the Romanesque style. But in 1193, when work had reached the western end, there was a radical change in style and the facade was built with pointed Gothic arches to a design that had no architectural precedent and no Medieval successor.

A hundred years later the height of the tower over the crossing was greatly increased. In doing this, the builders inserted pointed arches under the tower. This means that if you look along the nave, you can see two pointed arches- the two that support the tower.

The person who says that they saw the building and didn't see any Romanesque, quite plainly doesn't know what the are looking at when they see it, and should not remove anything from this article! --Amandajm 11:34, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm convicted You are fairest expert of romanesque architecture. But is not enough to say: "I saw it. It is romanesque", when on all pictures evrybody can see it is a gothic structure. Show us the proof and wee will agree with you.-- 11:21, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I've only just noticed this addition!

I have stated here that the facade is 100% Gothic. And that there are Gothic arches under the tower. There is also, but I didn't mention it, an extension to the East end that is Gothic. The choir has a late Gothic wooden ceiling.

So what is Romanesque?

Peterborough Cathedral. Interior
  1. The western towers for most of their height. (One was extended in the Gothic Style)
  2. The whole of the nave including the wooden ceiling
  3. The choir which like many English cathedrals is very long, and is apsidal which is uncommon in England because most choirs are Gothic.
  4. Both transepts.
  5. The lower parts of the central tower

One of the things that often causes confusion with English buildings is the subsequent changes. Sometimes Romanesque windows are modifed to include Gothic tracery. This has happened in the transept ends. But the simple arrangement of small windows indicates the Romanesque overall plan, even though it has been "tarted up" in the 15th century. I'll try to find some pics. I've got some lovely pictures of the East end Gothic windows, but I will try to find the nave if I can. --Amandajm 08:04, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

PS. found a picture of the Nave, so you can see quite plainly that the building is Romanesque. --Amandajm 13:13, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Please expand[edit]

The article is so poor that I can't believe my eyes. It seems like the poorest (architecturally speaking) countries of Europe conspired to flood this stub with dubious, red-linked samples of their provincial Romanesque, while the truly great and style defining buildings are not even mentioned. --Ghirla -трёп- 16:51, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Hello, Ghirla!... I think that there is no conspiration of the "poorest (architecturally speaking) countries of Europe" sic. I agree with you that this article is so poor (even more if we compare it with its correspondance in Baroque, that owes so much to you) but as I am one of the "conspirators" (my editions are in part responsible of the "red link" churches) I must aclare some things:

1- The name of the list is "Surviving Romanesque Buildings". I suppose it is referred to surviving buildings not to notable structures, as in other articles, like the ones of Gothic or Rennaisance. I have written the surviving Romanesque churches I know in Spain, but I know there are much more. As the sentence "this list is incomplete, please, complete it" is at the top of the list the point is to complete it, no matter how "important" are the churches. Among them are very important cathedrals and monasteries and rural churches, but all of them are "surviving". If you find it confusing you can move the list to another fork and put in this article the Notable Romanesque Buildings list.

2- Spain is definitely NOT architecturaly one of the poorest countries in Europe. Furthermore, as for the number and importance of monumental heritage it is the second country in Europe, under Italy (Great Italy). I don´t remember now who made the list, but I will find and write it here. It is normal that the geographical and cultural distance can make not know it. I am not an expert in Russian baroque, but I don´t deny it importance. Spain is a meeting point of several cultures that gave us Roman, Goth, Arab, and European artistic keys, and the main European styles are well represented, as well as particular ones, like Mudéjar or Asturian Art. I am not a fanatic: I know that Spain is not in the center of the World, but plenty good things happened here, and the voids in this Wikipedia about them are, as you say referring to this article, "a joke".

3- The term First Romanesque can be debatable. Anyway, I have read it in several "serious" books together with Lombard Romanesque. As for the problem of Romanesque or Pre-Romanesque, the Lombard (or First) Romanesque is considered to be proper Romanesque. You are right in that it may not be properly the "first", but the term is commonly used. But Ottonian architecture IS considered pre-romanesque, at least Conant, one of the experts in Carolingian art says so.

4- The article First Romanesque is not about architecture in Vall de Boí. The Style spreaded through the nort of Italy and the Pirinees. If you find it better, you can put it as a section in Romanesque Architecture, with the name Lombard Romanesque. By the way, there is a section in Wikicommons about "Romanico Lombardo", where you can see in images the main characteristics of the style. Anyway, I will find specifical references and bring them to you. Yours sincerely, --Garcilaso 17:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

The list I referred before was made by UNESCO: Spain is the second country in the World in number of World Heritage Sites. Among them, you can find these related to Romanesque: Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí, Historic Walled Town of Cuenca, Old City of Salamanca, Old Town of Ávila, with its Extra-Muros churches, Old Town of Segovia, Route of Santiago de Compostela, San Millán de la Cogolla: Yuso and Suso Monasteries, Santiago de Compostela (Old Town). To these, you can add Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon (not properly Romanesque, but often referred to as Románico-mudéjar), Pre-romanesque Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of Asturias, (and this is properly pre-romanesque), and Poblet Monastery (cister). Note that most of them are not a single monument but a whole city, with all its Romanesque and non Romanesque historical buildings. For complete list of Spanish World Heritage Sites see UNESCO´s page[1]

--Garcilaso 19:43, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

My phrase about the poorest countries did not refer to Spain. Otherwise I would have hardly written such entries as Spanish Baroque, Santa María de Guadalupe, Lonja de la Seda, Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon, etc. I would like to point out that adding more pictures and red links is neither informative nor helpful, it makes the article look slovenly and contradicts WP:CONTEXT. Therefore, I suggest to split the list into List of Romanesque architecture and to cut this article in two. As for the rest of your questions, you may want to address them to User:Wetman and User:Giano. They are very helpful wikipedians who know about architecture a lot more than myself. --Ghirla -трёп- 16:13, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your tweaks. I didn´t know that WP:CONTEXTS, its sounds quite logical. I agree also in splitting the article, leaving the list apart, but conserving the existing texts refered to France and Spain and adding other countries. And of course, expanding the text!
I have being looking at the list and I find in it the great style-defining buildings. I think that they should be here, as List of Notable Romanesque Structures, or integrated in the text. If the list is choosed, trying to define that "Notable" doesn´t mean "Big", but important for its artistic quality. Some imporant churches would be out of the list otherwise. До скорого!--Garcilaso 17:15, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I have split the article into a main part on the characteristics of the style and the List of Romanesque architecture, as has been suggested. It looks clearer to me now. I hope you guys like how it looks, otherwise the change can be reversed. Clearly the article needs more text on the characterisation of the style and on the romanesque of other regions of Europe, particularly Germany, Italy and England, which were very important in the development of romanesque. Mentions of the most notable romanesque buildings (for example the cathedrals of Durham, Pisa, Tournai, Speyer, Compostela etc) could be incorporated on these texts on regional romanesque. The list with many European examples, including the examples of peripheric countries, is good, since it shows how the style could spread all over the continent. Greetings, fsouza.

First Photograph[edit]

The first photograph people see on this page (the Interior of the Saint-Saturnin church) is pretty awful. Isn't there some other picture available which would better convey the achievement of medieval architecture?-- 01:44, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, Fsouza. They look great.-- 04:25, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Moved image of transitional architecture from gallery to Transitional section[edit]

I believe that this image clearly presents the transitional period between Romanesque and Gothic as defined in the section and as such is better in the body of the article rather than in the gallery. --Lmcelhiney 15:30, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I moved it over to the left and shrunk it a bit - the reason I put it in the gallery in the first place is because the text was very picture heavy and all the spacing was weird. I still think it's a bit wonky, but can't figure out what else to do. I've got no real problem with the picture being there beyond the spacing.
One concern however, the 'transitional' nature of the picture is not immediately obvious to me, though it is more obvious when referring to the text. Perhaps the caption could be altered to state that the lower section is Romanesque while the upper is Gothic? Unsure if this is accurate. WLU 20:24, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Neither I see the transition. It seems to be a Romanesque door and a fully-developed Gothic upper section.--Garcilaso 08:31, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
If you read the text accompanying the picture, it is more obvious. I think I'll change the caption. WLU 13:56, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Major rewrite underway[edit]

In rewriting the intro, I have not linked all the various features. They will aquire the necessary links in the section Characteristics.

In rewriting that the characteristics section, this is notification that some of the things that it says now will change completely, because they are either badly expressed (it wasn't in sentences until I did a bit of a quick fix some months ago) or inaccurate. There is one sentence there which I can't interpret!

The description of a-b-b-a as two piers between columns is wrong. It should read two columns between piers.

This sentence "There is also one new element in the capitals developed during the Romanesque period—the impost, a trapezoid form that stands between capital and arch" is incorrect- the impost was not a new element, it had been around since Roman times and in Byzantine architecture imposts are often as large and as decorative as the capitals.

The "cubic" capital of St Michael's Hildesheim and other such is simply a roughed-in Corinthian-type capital that has never been carved, and perhaps was never intended to be, but retains the basic form, marked by the way in which the sqare angles are often cut off on a slope or a curve so that the capital becomes roughly octagonal where it rests on the column. --Amandajm 06:59, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I disagree on so big rewrite.[edit]

This article has been set up on 20 May 2002. During 5 years Wikipedians work on it to make it (according to Wikipedia idea) possible objective. And now one person says that your work is nothing and make "major rewrite". I think that is completely incompatible with Wikipedia idea and I can't agree with taht.--Tlumaczek 16:09, 12 July 2007 (UTC)


It seems that the concepts of community and 'ownership' are in play here. Nobody owns an article, and anyone is welcome to contribute, thoughtfully. It matters not whether many editors or a single contributor makes a major rewrite, what matters is that the material be accurate and well prioritized--encyclopedic. This particular editor, Amandajm, is an erudite and excellent contributor. My prediction is that the article will be well served by her efforts. JNW 21:03, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I absolutely agree. As someone who has created some articles on mediaeval buildings, I think that an erudite rewriting of Romanesque like this one by Amandajm was really needed. Fsouza 22:06, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

The article was greatly in need of an overhaul. Like many of the generic art/architecture articles it was piecemeal. However, it contained valuable information, and some well expressed ideas by other editors which have been retained and incorporated into the present article. The progress of the article has been watched by Atillios who makes valuable contributions to architectural pages, and has been checked over and contributed to by Johnbod, with his good historical knowledge and expertise in medieval art. I welcome meaningful additions and suggestions, and have incorporated one of the photos put into the gallery by this user who is complaining.
--Amandajm 09:25, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Good work, Amandajm!--Garcilaso 14:53, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

What about brick structures?[edit]

Don't you think, that would be advisable to show at least one picture of it on this page? -- 08:10, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, you're right! i've fixed it. --Amandajm 08:53, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Some nonsense?[edit]

Is it not true that in the 1830s the Bamberg Cathedral was rebuilt as Romanesque by Friedrich Gärtner? Is it not true that purist recontructions where rather rebuildings consistent with architects imagination than true reconstructions? The duty of encyclopedia is to inform about such things. Even if it does not please you.-- 07:31, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Assuming this point is relevant, please see this first. regards --Merbabu 07:54, 27 July 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Archiwolt (talkcontribs)

Rebuilding v. reconstruction v. restoration[edit]

Tlumazcek, (excuse me if my spelling is wrong)

Unless you can find evidence to suggest that the buildings were actually demolished and rebuilt, then it is sufficient to say that it was a "heavy handed" restoration. To state that the building was "rebuilt" is incorrect.

In the case of the facade of Speyer, yes indeed it was a complete rebuilding. They demolished a Baroque facade to do it. But other than that, Speyer remains a Romanesque building. And to say it was rebuilt is nonsense. In the case of Bamberg, a lot of the work that was done there in the early 19th century was excessive and heavy handed. But according to the sources I have read, to say that the building was "rebuilt" is not correct. However, if you can find evidence to the contrary, that is in English, please let me know.

Also, the article on Bamberg Cathedral could use some expansion. So could all the articles on Polish architecture. I lose patience with nitpicking, particularly from someone who doesn't sign their name and changes computer frequently.

In any case, to use Bamberg as a picture of a church that has a typically Germanic Romanesque appearance remains correct, regardless of when it was completed, rebuilt or restored. --Amandajm 08:36, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Holy Roman Empire and Charlemagne (!)[edit]

It is wrong to say that "the Holy Roman Empire had been established by Charlemagne". The HRE came to existence much later, in fact the eastern part of the empire of Charlemagne first became the Kingdom of Germany (Treaty of Verdun 843), then the HRE. That paragraph should be re-phrased entirely. Xav71176 15:16, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Changed in line with this comment. --Amandajm 10:57, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Sure much better with your change, thanks Xav71176 14:04, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Hello, I don't know whether you're the same person who made further changes, as there was no ID. I reversed them. The reason is that this article does not pretend to deal with the fall of Rome and the division of the Empire. Using two different names to describe the Byzantine Empire is overkill here, particularly since the Byzantine Empire is considered to have begun with Constantine in the 4th century and we here are setting the stage for the devlopments in architecture of 700 years later. I reallly think that to say that domes and ornamental carvings continued unabated in the Byzantine Empire is adequate and in no way misleading. The fact that their style was much changed since the fall of Rome is the other significant architectural fact and this had almost lost its meaning in the rearrangement. --Amandajm 06:41, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Bamberg Cathedral[edit]

Bamberg Cathedral presents the distinctive outline of many of the large Romanesque churches of the Germanic tradition. The present appearance of the cathedral is the result of a purist reconstruction from 1830s made by Friedrich von Gärtner.

I have reversed the recent edit to this caption (The present appearance of the cathedral is the result of a purist reconstruction from 1830s made by Friedrich von Gärtner.) for a couple of reasons.

  • The editor is unnamed. Some months ago an un-named editor who frequently swapped computers and who refused to get a name kept adding uncited information of this type. I presume this is the same editor.
  • The comments prompted me to investigate a number of the German buildings that were a matter of comment.
In the case of Bamberg, all the evidence that I can find points to the fact that the interior was the subject of considerable 19th century "reconstruction" (as against "restoration"). However, the evidence points to the fact that the exterior of Bamberg Dom looks much the way it did at the end of the 13th century, and although one must presume it was heavily restored in the 19th century, the "distinctive outline" commented on in the picture's caption is not the result of a "purist reconstruction" but because that is the way it has appeared for about 700 years.
  • In addition to this, the statement "Bamberg Cathedral presents the distinctive outline of many of the large Romanesque churches of the Germanic tradition." is carefully worded to hold true, even if the building has suffered considerable reconstruction.
  • If the building was heavily reconstructed in the 19th century, then this information doesn't really belong within a short caption. It needs to be placed on the wiki-page of Bamberg Cathedral.

One thing that I find hard to comprehend is why this un-named editor repeatedly adds these comments to the Romanesque architectuure page but ignores the potential of the Friedrich von Gärtner page which could be greatly expanded with a list of the buildings that von Gärtner worked on and a bit of investigation to find out just how extensive his changes were to individual buildings. I'd really like to know more about this, and from my present vantage point, hhave little opportunity to investigate it, so, whoever-you-are, please get on with it! Amandajm (talk) 08:14, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Prophet Daneil Stained Glass help???[edit]

ive had a stained galss painting at my house for a while now, and it is of the prophet daniel. on the "romanesque acrhitecture" wikipedia page there is a picture of half of this stained glass painting. in the picture, he is holding a scroll, with visible text on it. does anyone have an idea what this text is in english, as it has been a mystery of our household for many years and no-one knows what it means????? or at the least, are you able to give me a direction as to where i can find out?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

  • It looks like "Ostende Domine" with contractions, but these words don't appear in the Vulgate text of Daniel. It may be an paraphrase of daniel 9:17: "Nunc ergo exaudi, Deus noster, orationem servi tui, et preces ejus: et ostende faciem tuam super sanctuarium tuum, quod desertum est propter temeti." Johnbod (talk) 05:01, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Date 1715[edit]

A recent edit to the intro provided a date of 1715 for the first use of the term "Romanesque". This conflicts with the cited source. Is their a citation to support this earlier date?

Amandajm (talk) 09:51, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

1715 is the OED first cited use, but talking about languages. 1819 is first use for architecture. Of course all this is in English, I'm sure not the first language to use the term. Johnbod (talk) 11:17, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
According to the cited source, it was first applied to architecture in France, early 1800s. We'll stick with that. Amandajm (talk) 08:52, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
The English use, in a book on architecture, predates the French by some years, cited to the OED. There is no reason to change this on the basis of an art-historian writing about France. Johnbod (talk) 12:29, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Johnbod, have we got any idea which English publication it was used in, in 1819. That predates the French by about five years. However, the form of the word itself seems to imply that its use in France (for whatever purpose) predated its use in England. Amandajm (talk) 08:31, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
OED cites "W.GUNN Inq. Gothic Archit. 82 "Capitals of different orders, and magnitudes, surmounted with Romanesque arches"." Since the word had by then been used of what we now call Romance languages for over a century in English, I see no difficulty. Johnbod (talk) 12:53, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I added the 1715 reference. I got it from (talk) 01:08, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
According to Andreas Hartmann-Virnich: Was ist Romanik, Darmstadt 2004, p. 28-30, the first documented use of the term romanesque as applied to architecture is in a letter of Charles de Gerville from 1818. The first use in a published work is in William Gunn: An Inquiry into the origin and influence of gothic architecture, London 1819. If Gunn could have taken the term from de Gerville by way of private correspondance, I don't know, maybe he found it for himself. The first french book to employ the term is only from 1824. Greetings from the German WP--Quinbus Flestrin (talk) 12:54, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. I'll work the extra detail in. Johnbod (talk) 13:04, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

speyer cathedral[edit]

according to all i have ever read about this cathedral, it is considered to be one of the noblest examples of pure and clear romanesque architecture (as correctly stated in several wikipedia articles) combining many, if not the most of the typical features listed in this article. in addition to that, it is the largest existing romanesque church, it was the largest chuch building in the holy roman empire and was fitted with the largest groined vault ceiling of the time. it is on the world heritage list of unesco. oddly, it is barely mentioned in this article and to top it off, it is used as an example for a neo-romanesque facade. the facade was reconstructed, as can be seen from older pictures and the overall appearance of the building changed very little since 1100.Sundar1 (talk) 17:25, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

The facade is 100% Romanesque Revival. The English translation on the cathedral's website says new romanesque (in other words, Neo-Romanesque) It is the work of Heinrich Hubsch and dates from the 1850s. Amandajm (talk) 07:55, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
For goodness sake! I just looked at your edit to the article. You actually deleted the picture, even though the name of the architect and the dates of construction were actually listed under the picture! Please check your facts before taking that sort of action.
Yes Speyer is large and does combine many of the features listed here. But its history have been unfortunate as far as its conservation goes. Much of the building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 17th century. It was torched again in the late 1700s. The Neo-Romanesque facade replaces a Baroque facade, the original facade being lost in 1689. To say that it is "one of the noblest examples of pure and clear Romanesque architecture" is an inaccuracy. It is not pure and it is certainly not clear. It has undergone at least two massive rebuildings since the fire of 1689. It looks like pure and clear Romanesque, because that is the way that King Ludwig II's architect's designed it to look.
That said, much of the Eastern end is original, as is the plan and scale of the building, the south aisle, and parts of the walls of the nave. The internal arrangement has been maintained, even though much of the fabric of the building has been replaced. The Facade is a 19th century design based upon existent Westworks on other German Romanesque buildings. You only have to enlarge the photo in order to see that not a single stone of it is ancient. Amandajm (talk) 08:36, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
what you list is no reason to use the speyer c., a prime example for romanesque architcture, as an example for neo-r., even if it's only the western facade - it is missleading for exactly that reason. there are sufficient other and better examples. besides, it is debatable whether the restoration of parts of otherwise totally romanesque buildings, such as the speyer c., can be considered neo-romanesque. also, the "new" facade looks very much like its predecessors. therefore i replaced the picture, despite your making it sound like a sacrilege.
it's exactly that "unfortunate history", as you call it, which was one of the points to add the c. to list of world heritage sites. speyer is considered to be a prime example for romanesque architecture exactly because of its pure and clear style which was the major reason for adding it to the heritage list. "It incorporates the general disposition of Saint Michael of Hildesheim and carries to its perfection a type of plan generally adopted, thereafter, in the region of the Rhineland. This plan is characterized by the equilibrium of the eastern and western blocks, by the symmetrical and singular placement of the towers which frame the mass formed by the nave and the transept." it is the symmetrical and aesthetical (clear) assembly of simple (pure) geometrical shapes that speyer c. is renown for (apart from size and architectural achievements). the sentence you removed is accurate: it said "pure and clear", but not original, which is what you seem to be lamenting. i suggest you add sources to your remarks. and, i suggest you leave "goodness" out of this and your "good grief" to yourself. (talk) 18:19, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Replacing the picture with another fine example of a Neo-Romanesque building is hardly sacrilege. Simply deleting an extremely good example of Neo Romanesque architecture by a named architect is entirely inappropriate.
-i don't know why you find speyer an "extremely good example" when there are so many better ones. the one i replaced it with is not the best but better.
  • Regarding its World Heritage listing, the list is assessed on the overall quality of the building. The fact that it is on the list does not reflect either way on the fact that it is in part an 18th and 19th century reconstruction. The date of its facade is not the sole factor.
-not the sole factor for what? your very own evaluation, right? nobody is talking about the original state of a structure. many praised buildings are not in their original state anymore, some more, some less. this is something you are welcome to remark on which you did in the respective article. it is obviously very important to you as you even find it necessary to repeat it.
  • You tell me that the new facade of Speyer looks like its predecessors. I have never seen a picture of the original Romanesque facade at Speyer. If you can direct me to one, I would be very grateful.
-a simple klick on the most logical place - german wikipedia - would do the trick. as i see, you already found out.
  • Regardless of your sensitivity about the matter, and regardless of the similarities to genuine facades of the Romanesque period, the fact remains that the design and construction are entirely 19th century. A 19th century facade to a 19th century design in an historic style is properly termed Neo-Something, in this case Neo-Romanesque. This facade is not a restoration. It is a complete rebuilding.
-the design is not entirely neo-r.- basically the facade is the same as in 1600 with neo-r. additions.
  • Please read up on the fate of Germany's historic architecture, which you undoubtedly have better access to than I do. A huge number of Gothic and particularly Baroque additions and extensions to buildings were destroyed in the 19th century in a spate of nationalism that considered Romanesque a pure expresion of Arianism, in keeping with Wagner and so on. Even genuine Romanesque buildings that didn't comform because they were lacking in symmetry or some other desirable quality were knocked into shape, sometimes to the extremme annoyance of local townspeople who had lived with their mismatched towers, Gothic porches and baroque finials for centuries quite happily.
-with arianism i suppose you mean aryianism. i will not attempt to enlighten your knowledge in history. as to the "huge number", i know a number of examples for buildings being restored in that fashion, there not only was a romanesque revival but also gothic one (see cologne or speyer remembrance church). gothic was also considered very german. nevertheless, hardly any of them would make good examples for neo-r. because these buildings were only partially redone. in my view it makes more sense to use buildings as examples, that were built as neo-r. from scratch. that is what this article is basically about. in addition, i still consider it misleading to take a building that is usually considered a prime example for romanesque structures as an example for neo-r., especially where there are certainly enough other examples around. it's just a matter of clarity. i very much tend to think you are on the war path against buildings, such as speyer c., to be called romanesque, because they only partially are in their original state.
  • Your statements about Speyer show something of the same sort of short-sighted zeal. It is a bit as if I put forward Westminster Abbey as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England and denied that its two western towers are the work of Nicholas Hawksmoor and that the statues of Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer over the west door are 20th century.
-if these towers replaced former gothic towers, that would be an acceptable statement. yet, you are comparing apples with pears. the basics in speyer are all present and the defining shapes are unchanged or -re-built, not added anew as in westminster.
  • The fact remains that the westwork of Speyer Cathedral is a very fine example of Romanesque Revival architecture, and nothing is going to change that. You are acting as if it is somehow denigrating to the building to state this fact. It is to this sort of attitude that I respond with "Good Grief!"
-as i wrote before, just because there are so many better examples, i indeed think your reason for insisting on speyer c. as a "fine" example is simply to denigrate it. of course, this cannot be done, but it is the impression you give.
  • How could the statement of this fact possibly detract from the building, unless we are out to deceive people into thinking that this is a genuine Romanesque facade?
-nobody says its a genuine romanesque facade. all that's said is that speyer c. is a prime example of romanesque architecture, not of a "genuine" romanesque building. with your idea of classification one could strike most old buildings off any list because they are not genuine this or genuine that. there are many buildings, i would say even most buildings, that were refitted in the contemporary fashion through the centuries, sometimes more, sometimes less. it would never occure to me to use any of these buildings as examples for the style, in which these alterations were made, unless there were no other examples at hand or they constituted a major part of the building. so who is trying to be deceiving?
Amandajm (talk) 05:34, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Sundar1 (talk) 18:19, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

i have at least five works on (romanesque) architecture and during my studies i've read many more. not one of them failed to at least mention the speyer cathedral and most of them mention it as a prime example or romanesque architecture. therefore i find it highly conspicuous if not suspicious that it is barely mentioned in this article. after the discussion above, i am not surprised. Sundar1 (talk) 18:29, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

How many of these are in German, I wonder. The French article is satisfied with merely listing non-French examples, with all text covering French ones. Johnbod (talk) 18:35, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Personally, in view of the compromised history, I think better examples can be found for both articles. Gothic Revival avoids restorations & so should the Romanesque one. Speyer is featured in Regional characteristics of Romanesque architecture, which I think is enough. This 1606 image & the present appearance look pretty different to me! Johnbod (talk) 18:31, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


  • This article does not attempt to mention every worthy piece of Romanesque architecture. The aim of the article is to give an understanding of the style. To that end, a great number of buildings have been used as examples of various features. I searched through the pictures to find good examples of the points that were being made.
  • There was only room to show one typical four-towered German profile. I ask you, which should I choose- Bamberg at which all four towers remain from the Romanesque period, or Speyer, where two of the four are 19th century?
  • Two different interiors are shown- Hildesheim and Mainz. Why Hildesheim? It is of singular importance and has a distinctive arrangement in its arcade. Why Mainz? Because it was a particularly good photo to illustrate an arcade on piers, which was the requirement.
  • You fail to realise that there was a clear statement that it was the facade of Speyer, specifically, that is 19th century.
  • You seem to regard any mention of the 19th century nature of the westwork as an insult to the building as a whole. Well, here, for your information, are the insults. You quoted them. You copied them into the article.
--it's very telling that you yourself come up with the idea of insulting. obviously you have had some thoughts about it and, perhaps, other experiences.
  1. The ICOMOS report refers to the 19th century westwerk as a "pastiche".
  2. You have lifted another section from another source and pasted it into the article. And it says "Yet, by the turn of the century the mood had changed. In 1916, Georg Dehio, a German art historian, was convinced that among all the misfortunes to befall the Speyer cathedral, the alterations of the 19th. century were not the smallest."
Read this very carefully. The English expression in this is very convoluted. What the writer is saying is that the art historian Georg Dehio thought that the alterations made in the 19th century were a worse disaster than some of the other dreadful misfortunes.
--i have no trouble mentioning the background of the present facade, as you can clearly see from the the quotes i added. i'm am fully aware of what they say, you need not put them in other words for me. after all, i translated the dehio one from the german original. so i don't see how you can write that statement, contradicting yourself. this discussion is not about "any mention" but mention in a particular place, thats all, no matter how "clear" the statement under the picture. anyone familiar with architecture and romanesque architecture in particular knows what place the speyer cathedral has in architectural history.
  • Basically, your attitude to German architecture is very very different from our attitude to English architecture. There is a very good reason for this.
--so you are changing to the "we"-form. isn't that reserved for the queen (of whom i also happen to be a subject)? i wonder what puts you in that possition. i might have an attitude to german architecture but you cannot possibly know about it. and i will not acccept your word for knowing the "english" attitude. is the you in "your attitude" also plural? then you will have to tell me about the "german attitude". you seem to know about it.

none of the wording in this article is my own. it was already in the article from which i started and the wording that i added is exclusively from sources.

You are looking for and demanding and repeating stuff that has to do with some notion of "purity" of concept and appearance. We British really don't care. Please go to Architecture of the medieval cathedrals of England.
--how good for you, if (plural!)you british don't care, i have no intention to let this slip into a national affair. the concept of "purity" can very well apply to architecture and does not necessarily mean "original". the speyer c. is not totaly original, but certainly a pure romanesque building, especially after ornaments of other styles or parts have been removed.
I am a person who loves visiting English cathedrals and who happily walks around reading the history of each building. I can look at an English Cathedral and say "the arcade is Norman, the clerestory and vault are early 12th century, the nave windows were modified in about 1230, the west window was inserted about 1390. The stained glass is by William Wailes and Hardman of Birmingham."
--you are trying very hard not to understand and, on top, to paint me as an ignorant.
Read the article on English cathedrals thoroughly and you will understand why I have absolutely no reservations in saying that Speyer Cathedral is in large part a 19th century reconstruction. If I was talking about Southwark Cathedral, I would tell a similar story. The original nave lasted until the 19th century, when it was rebuilt. But nobody ever pretends that it is anything other than the work of Arthur Blomfield. So from my point of view, your attitude is quite extraordinary.
--it is most obvious that you have no reservations but that is not the problem. i will not continue repeating myself. please source everything you say, as i do, then we'll be fine.
Amandajm (talk) 16:45, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Sundar1 (talk) 16:27, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm moving this off the article page. Amandajm (talk) 06:12, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Roman Architecture[edit]

Why does Roman (Architecture) point to this article? It should be pointing to _________... Stevenmitchell (talk) 15:07, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand your question. Roman architecture is a separate article. Amandajm (talk) 01:02, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


No we are not having a photo with the 19th century facade of Speyer presented as an architectural example. If this article was about the History of the cathedrals, then a pic of Speyer stating its Imperial associations would be appropriate. But this is an architectural article, specifically. Speyer, as it says on the ICOMOS site, presentws a unified appearance, and demonstrates very well the different trends in restoration, ie. that completely 19th century westwerk.

Whatismore, there are already enough pictures. And Speyer is mentioned about three times in the article. There is no reason why its restored Rhenish helm spiures have to be given precedent over the Limburg spires, for which there is a citation.

Please stop being so persistent about shoving Speyer into this article over and over again. It might be the biggest example of Romanesque north of the alps, but since at least 45% of the building in 19th century and in places totally reinvented and what remains of the rest is very much restored. As it exists now, it is certainly not Germany's finest example of Romanesque. One might as well state that the Houses of Parliament are the finest Medieval building in England.

Amandajm (talk) 00:59, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

you like the royal "we", don't you. the very reason for my slipping into this discussion was that, to my great astonishment speyer was almost totally "avoided" in this article. the reason it is now mentioned 3 times is only because i added it in some places. your reasons for not wanting to add a picture are pov; i have 8 books on romanesque and general architecture here by my side and i have read many more. none of them fail to mention speyer's importance and almost all even have pictures. the books are german, swiss, hungarian and english. none of them say that the value of speyer is in any way deminished because of the restorations. the importance of speyer for romanesque is stated in all the larger wikipedia articles of different languages (french, catalan, spanish, german, port., swed., polish, italian and others). given this well established importance it absolutely makes no sense not mentioning it in this article. it certainly deserves to have a picture in an article on romanesque architecture, especially if you have "so many" other ones. you seem to have no trouble accepting churches with various additions in other styles, why not this one? the pic of speyer will stay. if you can cite sources you can add the info of a minority opinion, stating it as such. perhaps you'd like to start an article on genuine romanesque architecture. but, thinking of it, even then speyer would feature and you'd be unhappy. the title would have to betotally genuine romanesque architecture. Sundar1 (talk) 09:05, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
This is not about "totally genuine" in the sense that you are presenting it. When one writes about the Norman architecture of England, one has to deal with a building piecemeal. Acknowledging the additions. In writing about Norman at Lincoln, I can only write about the facade. and with a statement about the restoration.
The facade of Speyer is a prime example of Neo Romanesque. I don't comprehend your objection to using it in that section.
Using a pic that displays the facade further up in the article (the pic that you keep inserting) then demands a lengthy explanation in the caption about the archiitectoral nature of the building.
The pic is a left-facing pic. It cannot go to the left of the page effectivvely. It will not fit, because there are planty of other pics.
It is proceded by two other pics of German buildings. If I have to chose between Bamberg with four genuine towers and a genuinely medieval silhoueete, and Speyer, with two 19th century towers, and 19th century facade and a reconstructed silhouette, then Bamberg is obviously more appropriate.
As for the history, many buildings have been linked to important historic events. The stance taken in opposition to Rome had begun some 200-300 years previous at Fulda. This article is not about tracing the history of every building. How Durham came to be built is dealt with at that article. How Canterbury came to be built is dealt with there.
On December 31 2007 there were already four mentions of Speyer Cathedral in this article. The same number as for Santiago de Compostella, Tournai, Angouleme etc. Exceded only by Durham and Vezelay which are discussed for their many decorative details as well as architectural form.
If you were really on top of this, instead of simply pushing a ridiculous barrow to prevent Speyer from being used as a prime example of Neo Romanesque, you would approach it differently. Look for real gaps in the information of the article. There are two places where Speyer could be mentioned most significantly. And, yes, now that it has come to my attention, I will do it.
Amandajm (talk) 03:14, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, none of the pics of the interior of Speyer illustrate the arcading or the vaulting as well as the onnes that I have chosen The Mainz pic is excellent.
However, I have found a placement for the general interior picture of Speyer, which even you, Sundar1, won't be able to whinge about. Not until our Polish friend returns to point out that the near end is 19th century reconstruction. Please don't move it because the scale and colouring happens to go very well with the two pics above it. Amandajm (talk) 04:18, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
you keep flogging the wrong horse. i explained the reason for my actions above, which you absolutely ignore along with my other arguments. it is disappointing that you have been unable to directly refer to what i wrote. if somebody is not on top of this, it is you. and what kind of argument is that the pic won't fit? do you want to kid me? it very much makes me doubt your intentions. genuity is not my problem, it’s yours. "one has to deal with a building piecemeal"- that certainly has been done in the speyer cathedral article. so where is the problem? other churches depicted in this article incorporate more than one building style (norwich or st. andrew’s (poland)). why don't they "demand lengthy explanations"?
there are 2 issues at discussion here. 1. speyer's role in rom. architecture and 2. speyer as an example for neo-r. architecture.
1. i repeat: speyer cathedral is a widely acknowledged, important, if not a prime example for romanesque or at least germanic romanesque architecture. for that reason it needs corresponding mention in any article on romansesque and certainly on regional romanesque architecture. refusing to see that is simply ignorant unless you want to make some other kind of point which is pov. again i ask you to cite sources that refute speyer's role. at least, until then, a pic of the cathedral will remain in this article. putting a partial picture in as an example for the arcades won’t do. i do not insist on it being in the "politics" paragraph. i did not put a "politics" paragraph in this article but once it is in, it is not complete without mentioning the role of rom. architecture in the politics of that time, of which speyer is "the" prime example (investiture + imperial burial site) hardly surpassed by any other building of the time. with your argument you are missing the point. i also do not insist on this very picture, but a picture of the whole cathedral it must be. if find the one i had for now is fine, because it is the overall appearance that matters most (proportions, towers etc.), and i will try to get a pic of the eastern side, which would be best. a pic of the interior is of minor interest in comparison; it should be removed. you write "the scale and colouring happens to go very well with the two pics above it". i cannot believe my eyes. content comes first, then you can worry about layout.
what you write about bamberg is correct, yet it does not surpass speyer in its overall importance for rom. architecture. again, you are only using an example because it is more "genuine".
2. i repeat: it is misleading to use an acknowledged prime example of romanesque architecture as prime example for neo-r. architecture only because a section of the building is neo-r. it is especially misleading when there are plenty of prime examples for neo-r. architecture around. would you use durham as a prime example for gothic? most certainly not. you yet fail to explain why you insist on a pic of speyer instead of buildings totally built in neo-r. style. i would agree that it could be an acceptable example for partially neo-r. buildings in the article on neo-r. (talk) 12:26, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Sundar, you neither perceive nor conceed that others have made concessions. There is no meeting you at any midway point.
  • I haven't "insisted" on using Speyer as an example of Neo Romanesque. You contributed a perfectly acceptable alternative. I am merely puzzled over the extreme nature of your reaction and your insistence that it wasn't to be used. That is where it started.
--why are you puzzled when the reasons are well explained? you are the one not to respond to my arguments. i did notice your "concessions" but saw no reason to conceed anything since you kept avoiding my arguments and the main issue.
  • As far as the politics go, the problem is not that Speyer is mentioned. The problem is that your edit is so Speyer-specific. If Speyer is to be cited as a coronation place and burial place, then it must be recognised that it is simply an example and not of unique significance in that regard. The Abbaye Saint-Denis and Westminster Abbey were the coronation places and burial places of kings during the same period. The point could be better made that during this period a number of large churches, (such as Speyer), had political as well as religious significance.
--i did not write about coronations. these took place in all kinds of churches and every emperor had a favorite. speyer's political role is unique as a burial place for 3 dynasties, as an expression of imperial power and of the quarrel with the popes, not more and not less.
  • The major innovation at Speyer is best seen on the interior. The view of the interior complements the entire article well. The view of the exterior adds nothing to the article as a whole except that it is indubitably, Speyer. The fact that it is of historical significance doesn't mean that the whole building has to be illustrated. There is no pic of the exterior of Santiago de Compostela, for example. If you could possibly take a wider view of things, you might notice another significant gap- there is no exterior picture of Pisa. (However, it is featured in another significant article.)
--as i wrote, i do not insist on the pic being in the politics paragraph. the pic you chose also is fine and it is fine where you put it. i only wrote that a paragraph about politics and rom. without mentioning speyer is not complete. the investiture controversy culminated with henry iv and troubled the empire and beyond for decades. he had the cathedral enlarged and it was from there that he went to canossa. and where else do you find 8 emperors and kings in one place?
  • I agree that Speyer's position in the development of the high vault needed acknowledging, and I have done so, prior to your last posting here. You don't seem to have noticed ( or perhaps acknowledged is the better word) that at your urging I had slipped in a few more references to Speyer where appropriate.
  • With regards to whether I would use Durham as an example of Gothic, I would have no hesitation to cite the "Chapel of Nine Altars" at Durham as a fine example of Gothic. Moreover, at the otherwise almost intact Romanesque cathedral at Peterborough, someone plastered a great Gothic facade right across the entire front of the building. Is it hated? No, we photograph it, write about it and drag visitors all the way from Putney to Peterborough to look at it.
--the question was whether you'd use durham as a "prime" example- of course it's an example. of course speyer is an example. you just don't get the point. i ask you one more time: if you wrote an article on gothic architecture and wanted to use 2 pics for examples, would you use durham as one? i am quite certain that would cause an outcry.
--i have been to just about all the important and wonderful cathedrals in england and i'm familiar with their architecture. you are most welcome to go to speyer for a change.
Amandajm (talk) 02:10, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Sundar1 (talk) 08:38, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  • With regards to Durham. This is a purely hypothetical question. If, as at Peterborough, Durham had a feature that represented a sublime example of Gothic, I would use it without hesitation. In fact, if it was a renowned example, I choose it without any regard whatsoever for the fact that Durham is primarily famous as a Norman building.
--you slipped the condition that you are only using 2 pictures for the article, again avoiding a straight answer.
However, the Gothic work at Durham is not renowned. Unfortunately its central tower is far from the best in England (although from a distance its outline looks impressive). The Gothic eastern extension has good qualities but is very hard to get a decent photo of, and has had an unexciting rose window misguidedly shoved into it. However, if Wikipedia had a really good photo that displayed its Gothic character, yes, I would use it without any problem.
--exactly the same is the case for speyer: it is not a top or outstanding or reknown example of neo-r. architceture.
  • This is the reason why I turned to Peterborough. Peterborough is the most intact Norman cathedral in England. It is cited and shown all the time as a great example of Norman. And its Gothic facade is reproduced all the time as a prime example of Gothic. The two are not seen as being mutually incompatible.
  • Taking Westminster Abbey as an example. Historically, "the Abbey" occupies a much more significant position than Durham. However, if I was looking for a photo that perfectly represented the beginnings of Gothic Revival (or maybe the continuation of Gothic tradition in a Classical mode) it would be very hard to bypass the facade of Westminster Abbey (1734-5). To use the Abbey as an example of Neo-Gothic would in no way detract from the fact that it is (mostly) a Medieval Gothic building of enormous importance in England, both for its history and its architecture.
--unlike speyer, westminster and peterborough indeed are very famous for their gothic facades. for reasons that we both know the situation in germany is different. there are not too many churches that combine two masterful styles. the reason speyer is not so reknown for the neo-rom. facade is because there are two basic evaluations. there are historical purists like you, who mostly value all the different styles in a building, as they were added through the centuries. then there are the architectural purists who value a building in one style. in the case of speyer hübsch did not freely design a new a neo-rom. facade. instead, he closely rebuilt the westwerk the way it used to be until its destruction in the 18th. century, for the very reason that german neo-rom. was very much based on original speyer as an example. in comparison to the overall appearance the differences are minor. you can only see them at close distance or when you happen to have an old sketch at hand.
  • The intention of suggesting that you should take a look at the article on the cathedrals of England has nothing to do with you familiarising yourself with the actual buildings. The suggestion was made because the text of the article is an example of the way in which the features of English cathedrals (and parish churches for that matter) are normally dealt with in architectural histories. Piecemeal. In a broad history, the best features of individual buildings are used to illustrate different styles. Or dates.
--be assured, the article was one of the first i looked into when getting into this. if you want to go through the pain of writing such a nice article on rom. in germany, is suppose you can follow the same procedure. but we are discussing a general article on rom. architecture.
For example a picture of the nave of Southwark is used as a good example of Victorian Gothic, regardless of the fact that most of the building dates from 1208-1300.
When dealing with an individual building, all its stages are listed, including major restorations and 19th century changes/additions. That is the way it is done. Saying, for example, that Lord Grimthorpe stuffed up mightily at St Albans is part of the process of describing that particular church.
--this has been done in the speyer cathedral article. where is the problem?
  • You ask where one might find 8 kings and emperors in one place. Well, there's the Abbaye-Saint-Denis, where almost every ruler of France has been buried since the 10th century.
--, oh, there are kings in abundance all over the place- i'm talking emperors! no, i'm joking. speyer as a burial place alone might no suffice for its higher ranking, although it makes a difference that there is no other such place in germany or the hre. yet i mentioned two other important factors for its political role. it's the combination that makes the difference and it's in reference not only to a kingdom but to the hre.
And as for Westminster Abbey, it has 17 English Monarchs and one Scot (and before anyoone gets their haggis in a twist let me acknowledge that a number of the English monarchs were also Scots). A previous royal burial place (839-1042) was Winchester, where nine monarchs are buried either in the cathedral and at a site nearby. The chief significance of Westminster Abbey is that every English monarch for the last thousand years has been crowned there, (with the exception of three who for various reasons- murder, execution, abdication, were not crowned). This does give it a certain undeniable historic importance. But, architecturally, its not of great importance to this article, unless we are going to be speculative.
--i never disputed "a certain historic importance" of other churches. this is really tiresome. you can never respond without raising new issues.
Amandajm (talk) 08:19, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
--Sundar1 (talk) 12:52, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Cut and paste[edit]

from talk page I wrote this lengthy explanation on Sundar's talk page, as being of little general interest, but I see that it is necessary here by way of explanations to my reversions. some of what is written here pertains to the Speyer Cathedral page rather than thisd page.

Speyer Cathedral talk[edit]

  • I must apologise for not realising that part of your recent addition was your own competent translation. I am sorry if that comment seemed patronising.
  • Referring to any work of art as a "pastiche" is rather insulting. That was ICOMOS word, not mine.
  • The royal plural(?). No, it's not quite like that. Another editor, Johnbod, also entered the discussion, and has also contributed to (mostly) English art/architecture articles. The attitude to which I am referring is the attitude expressed in general by English architectural historians who list all the various building stages of each building, including the Victorian additions.
  • Because of this, I have been trying to make sense somehow of your extraordinary degree of upset at seeing the Neo-Romanesque facade of Speyer used to illustrate a section on Neo-Romanesque architecture and your insistence on "purity" of the building. If your attitude isn't linked to national pride, and isn't simply ignorance (which it obviously isn't), then what's your problem?
It is not as if there is no mention of Speyer Cathedral in the article. There are several places in the article in which Speyer is cited as an example. There are a great many other Romanesque buildings which are not mentioned at all.
  • One of the things which I find quite hilarious is that for months and months I was hassled by a Polish art student who was absolutely incensed at the notion of my citing any German Romanesque buildings whatsoever, on the grounds that they had all been so heavily restored that almost none of them was in its original form. According to this person, the buildings had been literally vandalised for the sake of "purity". She (I think it was a woman) was extraordinarily critical of my use of Bamberg Cathedral as an example.
On delving into the matter a little, I discovered, of course, that her claims were true- that in 19th century Germany Baroque domes, towers, facades and altars were pulled down, that Gothic chapels and porches were demolished, that genuine Romanesque towers which didn't quite match were made to match and so on and so on. It was not a case of conserving what "was". It was a case of purging buildings of any details that did not contibute to "purity of style", whether that style was Romanesque, Gothic or Baroque. The older the building, the more it was likely to have been modified, and therefore the more likely that it should suffer this ruthless reconstruction.
This 19th century German attitude was very different to the attitude which prevailed in England at the same time. Many of the great abbey churches in Germany and France had relatively short building periods, and then were later added to, with smaller additions such as chapels. In England however, every cathedral except one (Salisbury) grew at a very slow rate. The architects almost never tried to make the parts match. I don't think that either France or Germany have a single large abbey or cathedral that is as diverse in its parts as are the huge cathedrals of Canterbury, Gloucester, Lincoln, Durham or Ely. Durham, often cited as the greatest example of Romanesque architecture on the planet, has never suffered the type of re-conversion that is normal to German Romanesque buildings. So it retains a Gothic eastern transept, three Gothic towers and a large Gothic western window, none of which, had the building been in Germany, would have survived the 19th century. We would have ended up with Durham looking as pristine a piece of Romanesque architecture as Speyer does, minus that diversity that is so typically English.
  • About using material from other articles- using large slabs of material from other articles or books is not permissable. The only permissable circumstances are 1) translating from Wikipedia that is in another language, 2) using material from 1911 Britannica. For any other material that you quote, you must put the material in quotation marks. You can quote "phrases" within the text, and short sections using indents. If you are drawing extensively from another source, say for a description of a building, then you need to paraphrase it.
So it is fine to say: 'Peter Bloggs says of St Augustine's Abbey "it is the noblest and grandest ruin in Europe".'
It isn't fine to simply copy and paste Peter Bloggs' whole description of the abbey. This is why I utilised the ICOMOS material and cited ICOMOS a number of times as a source. I included one of the most pertinent quotes about the overall quality of the building, as a direct quote in quotation marks.
My description of the building itself is merely a straightforward description of the features that are clear on the plan and in photos, using the photos and plan as a primary source. ie. it has a a single nave and aisles, an apsidal east end, etc etc. I should probably go back and write "see plan" after it.
  • Ecclesiastical status- for every cathedral, its status as a cathedral is mentioned in the first sentence.
  • "Basilica". The word is used in two ways, and in this article it is applied in both of them. Ecclesiastically, it is a "Minor Basilica". Architecturally, it can be described as having a "basilica" plan ie. long with a nave and aisles rather than centrally planned like the old cathedral at Aachen. I think that it is rather confusing to use the word twice in the same article to mean different things, and generally avoid using "basilica" as an architectural term unless referring to the Constantinian basilica churches of Rome.

....Amandajm (talk) 07:01, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Pasted here from user Sundar's talk page, Amandajm (talk) 01:05, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Given the many significant changes, I really can't see the sense in insisting on a photo in the article of the whole exterior church. I suggest you drop this. Johnbod (talk) 04:45, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Re Conrad II[edit]

I put back the recently added section re Conrad at Speyer, did some reading, and then removed it again. My reasons are that the reference to Conrad II at Speyer is too detailed. One king (and his descendant henry) and one church, being given mention in preference to every other significant church.

The change of dynasty from Ottonian to Salic is simply incorporated in the reference to the Holy Roman Empire. It doesn't require more than that. Likewise, Speyer Cathedral represents a larger grander version of the early German Romanesque buildings that precede it, with an innovative bay and vault, and a more developed decorative arcade. It does not represent a brand new architectural statement. See Fulda, 791-822 AD, Corvey Abbey, 873-885, St Pantaleon, Cologne, late 900s, Minden about 900-950, and St Michaels Hildesheim 1010-1033.

To include Speyer as an essential piece of history, and leave out the German Romanesque buildings tht pre-date it is too give it much too much significance. To talk here about two individual German church builders and not about those of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sicily etc etc is inappropriate. They need to be dealt with in the specific articles for each country.

On the other hand, William of Normandy's conquest of Britain warrants mention in the history, because it brought about a vast change in culture and architectural style to a very large area. The remaining examples of Anglo Saxon architecture and that of the invading Normans are two very different things. Lanfranc's church at Canterbury Cathedral (1070) (not mentioned in the article at all because only fragments remain) introduced something new to that country. The huge abbeys/cathedrals that followed at St Albans, Winchester, Rochester, Gloucester, Old Sarum, Lincoln, London, Norwich, Hereford, Ely, Worcester and Durham were all begun between 1070 and 1100. This was the impact of the Norman invasion. Amandajm (talk) 08:49, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

I would agree broadly, although a slight note of caution should be made as under the pro-Norman Edward the Confessor several Norman clerics had probably started to import the latest styles, especially at Westminster Abbey. But it's all been built over now. Johnbod (talk) 15:21, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right! The big re-build started not at Canterbury but at Westminster prior to William. I think I'll do a check on the dates of the major rebuilds at other places and identify those that began pre-conquest. There was a huge spate of new foundations or massive rebuilding programs between 1075 and 1100.
Canterbury's interesting. Harvey (which I have to hand) refers ambiguously to "fragments" of Lanfranc's Norman building and doesn't name the builder of the crypt. Apparently Anselm had been prior of St Etienne, Caen (William's foundation) before he was bishop of Canterbury. The new work started with the crypt. It's remarkable to me that when William of Sens did his rebuild over the crypt only a short time later that he left so many remains intact, including those two ducky little towers.
A C-T provided instant answer. According to him, Westminster was the last major pre-conquest church and the first pre-conquest abbey in the Norman style, and according to the Bayeau tapestry, resembled Jumieges. Of the buildings that are now cathedrals, the earliest major Norman work (other than the crypt at C. which seems to have begun a little earlier) is at St Albans, with the Abbot Paul coming from Caen and the architect Robert Mason.
Amandajm (talk) 00:41, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
It was all very new for the Normans too; they had only just got into building big R-esque churches themselves; the two big abbeys at Caen not begun till after 1053, Jumièges Abbey begun a little earlier I think, & so on. Johnbod (talk) 04:07, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
St Remi in Reims is one of the earliest big ones, begun shortly after 1000. Mont St Michel is very early. Jumièges is about 1040 or so. There's another one with big enormous tall round columns like Gloucester that is very early, can't think what it's called. It's surprising how many buildings went up, once they got going. The other thing that is surprising is the diversity. They found so many answers to the same problems.
I'm quite cross! Earlier today I came across a photo of Winchester Cathedral with the plan of the earlier building next to it. Now that I want to look at it in detail, I can't find it, and I don't know whether it was online or in a book. It doesn't seem to be on Commons, although someone has put up a superb array of images of Winchester. I'll look through my books again more slowly! Oh, it's after midnight... maybe I won't! Amandajm (talk) 13:22, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Can't help you there! Reims was/is very much not in Normandy of course, though maybe it inspired the Normans to emulate it. I'd forgotten the Italian William of Volpiano who did Fecamp and Mont St-Michel & seems to have got them going. One wonders if he actually did the designs himself, or knew a little man. Maybe he deserves a mention. Johnbod (talk) 14:40, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

External link to Saint-Trophime digital archive[edit]

I just added a link to the WMF/CyArk HD documentation site for the late Romanesque/early Gothic former cathedral of Saint-Trophime in the external links section; the site is highly illustrative of Romanesque and Early Gothic forms and contrasts so it seems to be of good educational value. DuendeThumb (talk) 23:41, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Secular architecture[edit]

I've added a bit to the lead, but really the article should have a section on secular architecture, probably including the non-church parts of monasteries. The impression previously given that the style was entirely ecclesiastical is of course misleading. Is there a properly Romanesque palace anywhere in fairly good condition? Perhaps not. Johnbod (talk) 14:02, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I keep thinking about the lop-sidedness of this and the Gothic architecture articles. Because both are rather long, I think that the article in both cases needs to be in two parts- and clearly marked as such- Romanesque religious architecture and R. secular architecture. Of course there is a lot less Romanesque secular architecture than Gothic. The only Romanesque houses in England that I can think of are Boothby Pagnell and those in Lincoln. I feel alarmed when I see them because they appear to be treated with so little respect. I think one of them was a hair salon and had an air-con showed into one of its windows.
Italy has a great deal more, because Gothic didn't really catch on to the same degree.
Amandajm (talk) 15:13, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Well the Conway one is a National Trust gift shop, so that's ok! I think we could start it here and see how big it gets. Gothic could indeed be a new article. Johnbod (talk) 19:24, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, I just took a look at the List of Castles in England which has quite a few Norman examples, as one would expect. Amandajm (talk) 10:10, 12 April 2011 (UTC)


The writing in this article is horrible; unfortunately, I don't know much about Romanesque architecture to make the revisions necessary to fix it. For example, look at the following:

"Romanesque architecture is an architectural style, characterized by semi-circular arches, of Medieval Europe and evolving into the Gothic style, characterised by pointed arches, beginning in the 12th century."

The sentence is ambiguous. What began in the 12th century? In addition, if you remove the nonrestrictive clauses your sentence looks like this:

"Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe and evolving into the Gothic style beginning in the 12th century."

This doesn't make sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

This problem was fixed some weeks ago. Amandajm (talk) 02:38, 9 July 2011 (UTC)


NOTE: the following is a recent comment that was put in the middle of the page. I moved down where it is easier to discuss, as none of what goes before is pertinent any longer. Amandajm (talk) 15:08, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

The article altought it improved greatly in the last months or so, with some awesome pics. It is biased towards Northern Europe, and some pics here, are not even from the Romanesque period, and while some are, I would barely identify this article as depicting Romanesque, maybe because of the diversity of Europe, that's great, but it should be balanced. This talk with ignorant remarks may had influenced this article to became a Big Cathedrals article with suspicious pictures/accuracy. This article is about Medieval European Romanesque architecture, not some Asian or American mentality with the bigger the better thing. ---Pedro (talk) 12:55, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I am having a problem understanding what you mean.
  • Biased towards Northern Europe.
In point of fact, I have tried to be as even-handed as possible, particularly with the introductory pictures.
But actually there is a bias. The bias is towards buildings that have been well-photogrphed and put up on Wikimedia Commons, properly identified. I have looked through several thousand photos and straighten cropped and adjusted a great many. But I cannot put in photos that don't exist, or photos of very poor quality.
I also have a bias towards referring to buildings for which there is a good clearly written article. If one example fits that category, and an equally good example has only a stub, then I go with the good one.
  • You say you would barely identify this article as depicting Romanesque.
I don't comprehend this comment. Every illustration is of a Romanesque building unless it is stated otherwise, e.g. Romanesque Revival architecture.
If something is visible in a picture which is clearly a later addition, (a Gothic window for example) then it is identified as such in the caption.
  • With regards to it being '"a Big Cathedrals article", let me point out that it is the "big" buildings upon which the architects lavished care in design, and the builders and craftspeople lavished care in execution.
There are hundreds of Romanesque churches out there, so why would one chose to illustrate a work on the history of Architecture with anything but the best?
If you look, you will find at least six different small parish churches or other such buildings that are not "Big Cathedrals" at various places in the article. Are you suggesting that I should delete Santiago de Compostela and Pisa Cathedral? The point is that the article is about "architecture", not about Vernacular building. A lot of small and undecorated buildings could simply be described as "vernacular" regardless of their date.
Anyway, I am currently reworking the sister article to this which looks specifically at the styles of different regions.
I am about to run into problems with a paucity of information on Eastern Europe, and the Balkans.
So, you have made a number of criticisms, but no helpful suggestions whatsoever. And you have been unnecessarily insulting to Asians and Americans. Fortunately, since I am neither Asian nor American, I don't have to take it personally.
Amandajm (talk) 15:54, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • My issue with the big cathedrals is that several of those were rebuilt in the following centuries. And what I said was a reply to what was said about Spanish Romanesque architecture by a Russian wikipedian, which considered it minor or provincial. Importance of the sites are surely not given by size. The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral has interesting sculptures in it, even with related rituals. Pisa is iconic due to the Belltower's tilt.

The pics: The article has improved a lot, so some of my remarks may be really unfair now, but felt that this article didn't expressed the looks of the Romanesque sites: just big buildings, that have nothing special in them (or we dont see it in the article), some could well be Gothic reconstruction or even from later periods. The only interesting section was the capitals one, but now the article has much more.

My main concerns are the lead pictures: the third one - are those really Romanesque windows? it looks it has Gothic, Romano-Gothic and Romanesque windows. In France you have so many sites that would suit better the article, especially in lead pics. The German one when was that built? It has the typical Romanesque windows all over it, and with an interesting use, but the rest... it looks it was built last year. i don't know the history of that abbey though. --Pedro (talk) 21:10, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Pedro, there really is no point in responding to a discussion that took place in 2006, regardless of how the Russian editors may have insulted Spanish Romanesque!
The article is entirely different to the way it was then, and Spanish architecture has been given more treatment.
  • With buildings that are 800-1000 years old, it is pointless to quibble with the fact that the stonework has been extensively repaired over the centuries. "Architecture" is about design and construction. This article is not a study of the Archaeology of Romanesque buildings. It is a study of design and structure.
  • I have just sifted through hundreds of pics and finally discovered a few half-reasonable photos of Spanish Romanesque interiors, so now I can include another one in the "interiors" gallery.
There are a couple of problems with getting pics of large Spanish churches: 1. They often have other buildings right up to their walls. 2. They often have large and intrusive accretions in the Baroque style. 3. The windows tend to be very small so either there is no lighting or glaring artificial lighting.
  • Gothic additions and extensions, like that little vestry that has been added to the Romanesque French abbey, (pic. 3), are not a reason for failure to include the building. England, for example, has some of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in its large cathedrals and abbeys. The design and craftsmanship are both of superb quality. But most of its abbeys are ruins, and every one of the Romanesque cathedrals has been extended or vaulted at a later date. We cannot leave out Durham Cathedral, arguably the greatest Romanesque building on planet Earth, just because subsequent builders made the towers much taller, built a range of chapels along the eastern end and cut a larger window into the west front. The interior remains an extraordinary masterpiece of design, engineering, construction and decoration. The sort of changes that took place at Durham also took place at the largest and most notable Romanesque buildings in Spain. We cannot simply omit them for that reason, unless the additions are so intrusive that you can't make sense of the original.
  • With regards to Maria Laach Abbey, I think it is pointless to argue with the inclusion of a building that has been restored, and therefore maintains the integrity of its original design. The 19th century restorers, when replacing the wooden structure of the spires, saw fit to return them to a lower Romanesque rather than taller Gothic profile. (It would have been cheaper, for a start). They also removed Baroque windows. It means that the integrity of the Romanesque design is maintained, and we therefore can see the intentions of the original architect. The 19th century westwerk at Speyer cathedral is a different matter. Its construction entailed the demolition of an existent Baroque facade and replacement with a design based only loosely on an existent drawing of the original. It cannot be called a "restoration". That is why the westwerk of Speyer is down among the Romanesque Revivals. It is a good piece of revival architecture. The general view of the building, on the other hand, is most pertinent to the history section, and the east end, showing the earliest use of dwarf galleries, is pertinent to the decoration section, regardless or not of whether the colonettes of the gallery are all 19th century replacements. It is the originality of the design that is significant in the history of Architecture.
  • BTW, the architectural significance of Santiago de Compostela is that it is one of the earliest large Romanesque buildings in Spain, it retains much of its internal structure, and is a great example of the use of barrel vaulting, piers etc. The sculpture is also a great decorative element, but for the purposes of this article, it is the interior of the cathedral that counts the most.
Likewise, at Pisa, the fact that the tower leans posed an interesting engineering problem, but is irrelevant here. What counts is that there are four exquisitely designed buildings which form a complex that is unique in its integrity, despite the fact that work continued into the Gothic period. The cathedral, the campanile and the baptistery are all masterpieces of Romanesque design. Individually, they are all worth a place in the article; together, they are the epitome of Romanesque planning.
Amandajm (talk) 06:50, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I've been watching this grow, & I think you're doing a grand job! I see the pics have changed again. One thing I do think is that the early pics are all long shots of whole buildings; a few mid-range or close-up shots mixed in would help, given the tiny thumb size. If it was me I think I might start, or have as 2 or 3, with a simple one like this one. The one thing people think they know about R architecture is round arches, & though this isn't the whole story, they are not wrong. Currently the first 2 shots are a bit similar. Btw, the new Paintings from Arlanza is worth a link, as the best big secular mural scheme, & the outstanding fresco collection in Barcelona is getting a lot of new articles, as we have a Wikipedian in residence in MNAC currently - I was there a few weeks ago, & will be doing Frescos from Sigena over the summer - (see [2]). Great portal there too. One day we will do the secular R architecture article! Johnbod (talk) 11:37, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Brilliant portal, but such a lousy photo! I would have like to have included it. Wish it was better. Amandajm (talk) 12:33, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
As for the Maria Laach Abbey, I withdraw my concerns. but maintain my concerns for the Lessay Abbey. It misinforms the reader about the scope of the article which is Romanesque architecture, not Gothic or construction throw time. An encyclopedia is used for learning, as such the pic, as I suspect for the looks of it, turns the article less reliable. It could fit the article in an area discussing about construction throw time, but should never be a lead picture (the 3rd in the article) as an example of Romanesque architecture. Style changes in later periods are out of the scope of Romanesque architecture, of course, conscious repairing is, obviously, ok. --Pedro (talk) 11:08, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, it doesn't misinform the reader about the scope of the article. The article states quite clearly in the introduction that many, if not most, of the building have been subsequently altered. Lessay Abbey is an excellent example of Romanesque architecture, with the exception of the minor addition. I will replace it when I find an example that fits well with the other two pictures. It is not a matter of high priority.
In fact, anyone who reads beyond the first few paragraphs on style ought to be able to look at it and say to themselves, "ah, that window must be a later addition".
Amandajm (talk) 11:54, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Only the best educated and curious could figure that out. Most can't... It is something one learns with time, and after seeing some, and people or books stating this is Romanesque, that is Gothic, and that is Romano-Gothic... and all of a suddent, one starts seeing a pattern. -Pedro (talk) 12:23, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Pedro, read the article! That is what it is for. You don't have to be magnificently well educated to get it. Or to figure out that a building that is a thousand years old has probably been changed. There are very few Romanesque buildings that haven't been added to, had one or two windows inserted or, in the case of Germany, had all the changes rebuilt in the 19th century. If I include only unchanged buildings, then we have to omit all the great ones and look only at tiny churches in impoverished parishes, that constitute "vernacular building" rather than "Romanesque style".
I am sitting here surrounded by a stack of books and I can assure you that if Sir Nicholas Pevsner and Sir Banister Fletcher were as nit-picking as you are, the chapters on Romanesque in their respective books would never have been written, and certainly not illustrated with pictures of Abbey of Saint-Etienne, Caen, Durham Cathedral, Santiago de Compostela, Speyer cathedral and Pisa Cathedral every one of which has significant and clearly visible parts that are Gothic, Baroque or Romanesque Revival.
It's time for you to get over that single Gothic window in the vestry of an otherwise-perfect example of Romanesque architecture, and move on to something else. I have told you I am working on it. The very face that I cannot easily come up with a quality replacement, even though there are thousands of photos on Commons, ought to indicate something to you. How can this really be so important to you, in the greater scheme of things?
Amandajm (talk) 02:26, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry for that. I know time goes on, and is not forgiving even for cathedrals. I don't think that's nit-picking, or I'm stating those great works to be excluded. Where did I stated that? But the article should focus on Romanesque in those buildings. As for the French abbey, the Gothic is one of the first aspects of the church that one sees in that picture. As for small churches, we have two of them around here, and no one in their mind would consider them irrelevant or vernacular, I got more "awe" expression after seeing one of them, that with some greater cathedrals. The article is not simply about engineering, often relegated and forgotten, which is unfair, I agree. --Pedro (talk) 10:20, 10 July 2012 (UTC)


In the otherwise nicely written introductory section, it says "The largest groups of Romanesque survivors are in areas that were less prosperous in subsequent periods, including parts of Southern France, Northern Spain and rural Italy."

I'm not really sure that this is accurate form an economic stnadpoint or that the reduced imacpt of Gothic in parts of southern Europe is due merely to resources. I would think it was based as much on the fact that the romanesque tradition was better establshed and that the exemplars from which it arose (Roamn and Byzanthine) were more present.

Simplifying: Romanesque originates in Northern italy/SoutherFrance/Northeast Spain and is therefore more frequent and lasting there while Gothic originates in Norther France and is most present in NW Europe.

I'll look up some sources. Ramillies (talk) 16:49, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't think this is what it is saying - "survivors" is the key word here. It is talking about what is left now, not what was originally built. There is relatively little Romanesque left in England because it all got Gothic makeovers, and in Italy because if it escaped the Gothic the Baroque did for it. The same was true in large degree everywhere except in areas that later became less prosperous, or depopulated by plague etc. As in many other areas and periods, economic depression is the best friend of architectural preservation. Johnbod (talk) 16:57, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, thanks John! we had an edit conflict here. I was just writing something very similar. I'll reference it. Tomorrow, (yawn!) if I ever wake up.... . Amandajm (talk) 17:07, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

This is one of the best articles I've ever read on Wikipedia.[edit]

Well done. (talk) 01:20, 9 July 2013 (UTC)