The Romano-Gothic is term sometimes used for the architectural style, also called Early Gothic, which evolved in Europe in the 12th century from the Romanesque style, and was an early style in Gothic architecture. In England “Early English Gothic” remains the usual term. The style is characterized by rounded and pointed arches on a vertical plane. Flying buttresses were used, but are mainly undecorated. Romanesque buttresses were also used. Romano-Gothic began to use the decorative elements of Gothic architecture, but not the constructional principles of more fully Gothic buildings. Especially in Germany, the term is used of relatively late buildings in a cautious provincial version of Gothic.

The term Romano-Gothic is used for the style of certain church buildings of the 13th and 14th centuries on both sides of the Dutch-German border in the transitional period between late Romanesque and Gothic . He makes use of decorative decorative forms of Gothic, but does not take over their design principles. He still held on to these peculiarities, as elsewhere the gothic style of construction had long since been followed more consistently. Main features are decorative masonry and decorative elements such as blaze arcades , round windows and round arch friezes .


Lower Rhine
The Lower Rhine late-Romanesque style is attributed to the increasing verticality through the use of cross vaults and the occasional use of pointed arches Romano-Gothic. In the Netherlands, the Munsterkerk in Roermond is the most important Romano-Gothic example. Characteristics of the architectural style can also be found on the Old Salviuskerk in Limbricht . Other Romano-Gothic churches include the Servaasbasiliek , the Liebfrauenbasilika in Maastricht and the St. Plechelmus Basilica in Oldenzaal . At the end of the 19th century, this style formed the source of inspiration for the Neuromano Gothic, as its most significant representative of the German-Dutch church architect Carl Weber (1820-1908) applies.

East Frisia and Northern Netherlands
Several churches in western Ostfriesland and in the Dutch provinces of Groningen and Friesland are characterized by an independent Romano-Gothic architectural style. Occasionally, the architectural style is referred to here as “early Gothic”. Specific features distinguish the architectural style of purely Romanesque churches. The Romano-Gothic church buildings of Friesland are all built of brick and have a wall structure with horizontally offset planes, which Blend niche serve as an ornament. The gable triangles of the transept are also equipped with niches. The initially small bows are recessed in the wall and have round profiles. Partly wall reinforcements and buttresses are used, which foreshadow the Gothic. In particular, the east side can be decorated with blind fields , lozenge patterns in the gables, Okuli , three- frame groups, consoles , round arches and bows decorative. Various decorative elements anticipate the Gothic, while the manner of the construction is still Romanesque. Inside, eight-part ribbed vaults are used, which are flattened at the top so that the ribs form a circle in the center. Within the Romano-Gothic, a development has taken place in which the oldest examples have a richer use of niches and gable decoration than the younger ones. Gradually, these were less used, the windows were larger and formerly round arches replaced by pointed arched, until finally purely Gothic form elements were used. The representative Romano-Gothic churches in Ostfriesland are almost all based on foundations of local or regional chiefs.

An early example of an East Frisian Romano-Gothic hall church is the Trinity Church in Collinghorst (around 1250). The east gable of Grimersumer church is divided by staggered panels, the underlying three-window group is flanked by two Blendnischen. At St. Mauritius in Reepsholt , the transept gables are adorned by round panels with a herringbone pattern and a three-pass frieze, which otherwise does not meet in Ostfriesland, but rather in the Dutch Friesland. The long sides of the Eilsum church (1240-1260) built nave divided by two levels with arcade blind arcades, below larger, flat and above small, deeper arches with narrow arched windows.

The Romano-Gothic eastern part of the Reformed Church in Bunde is compared to the simple Romanesque nave (around 1200) elaborately designed and dated from the period around 1270 to 1280. The outer walls of the choir are provided in the lower level with continuous arc-shaped arcades , They are built as blends with capitals on round rods, which are provided in the middle with Okuli. In the upper part of the east wall, there is a tripartite arched window flanked by two glazed windows with clover-bow and checkerboard and herringbone pattern, and in the side walls glazed windows with round arches. The northern gable still retains the original diamond pattern . The Stapelmoorer church is architecturally similar to the Bunder Kreuzkirche designed. The crossing tower of the Pilsum Kreuzkirche also dates back to the transitional period.

An example of a very special kind is the Marien Church in Marienhafe, which is based on types of Osnabrück Cathedral and French models and was built from 1250 to 1270 as a three-nave basilica . The Warnfried Church in Osteel was oriented in style at the Marienhafer church and was partially demolished like those in the 19th century. The Werdumer St. Nicolai Church with its corner railings and the ornate cornice from 1327 represents the last phase of Romano Gothic.

One of the oldest examples of this style in the Netherlands is the choir of the church in Leermens . The churches of Stedum and Zuidbroek are largely preserved examples of the early style. The church in Noordbroek shows the transition to the Gothic. In Zeerijp the last stage of the Romano-Gothic is reached: purely Gothic forms are combined with a construction and individual elements of the Romano-Gothic. Other Romanesque Gothic churches in the Groningen province can be found in Krewerd, Loppersum, Termunten, Garmerwolde, Bierum, Godlinze, Ten Boer, Huizinge. In West Frisia churches of this style are in Hantumhuizen, Bergum and Eestrum.

In the initial Gothic, the pointed arches , the ribbed vaults , the flying buttresses and the lancet windows begin to be used, 3 but without the decoration and the full structural sense that they will reach in the Gothic style. Some authors criticize the qualification of “protogóticas” for these structures, considering that it is not a style of transition between the late Romanesque and the Gothic (which has come to be called Romanesque ogival ), but of Romanesque and Gothic forms juxtaposed in the same building (usually a planimetry and Romanesque supporting elements and arches and Gothic vaults), as a result of the prolonged construction. 4

In France, the abbey of Clairvaux , the Tricis Fontaines and the Fontenay abbey (Cistercian foundations of Bernard of Clairvaux, from 1117), the cathedral of Sens (from 1140), the basilica of Saint , belong to this initial Gothic period. -Denis (whose address by Abbot Suger from 1122 to 1151 is considered the start of the Gothic style), the cathedral of Angers (1149-1159), the cathedral of Laon (1155-1235) and the cathedral of Poitiers (1162). These buildings are generally austere, and have a height and lighting that, although they are markedly more pronounced than in the Romanesque, still do not reach the impressive levels of the later phases: the full Gothic Cathedrals of Chartres (1194-1220) and of Reims (1211), or the prodigies of the rayonnant de Beauvais (1225 – of unequaled height) or of the Sainte Chapelle (1241-1248). The cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris , due to its intermediate chronology (1163-1267), participates in the characteristics of the first three phases of French Gothic.

In the periodization of English Gothic is called Early English Style (as opposed to the contemporary French Style – the initial French Gothic – and the previous Norman – “Norman”, the Romanesque that the Norman conquest introduced in England from 1066-) to the first phase of Gothic (also labeled Early Plantagenet , Lancet or First Pointed Style ), exemplified by the reconstruction of Canterbury Cathedral after the fire of 1174; although there were also numerous Cistercian foundations, such as the abbey of Rievaulx (1132).

In the Central European zone of the Holy Empire , the German term Romano-Gotik extends to apply to buildings of relatively late chronology, characterized by provincial and cautious versions of the Gothic; while the first Gothic buildings considered are the Abbey of Eberbach (1136), the Magdeburg Cathedral (1207) and the Liebfrauenkirche of Trier (1235).

In the peninsular Christian kingdoms the new style was also incorporated through the Cistercian foundations, which were followed by the most ambitious cathedral works. In the kingdom of Portugal, the monastery of Alcobaça (1178) was the first Gothic work. In the crown of Castile, the monastery of Moreruela (1133), the cathedral of Ávila (1170) and the cathedral of Cuenca (1196). In the crown of Aragon, the monastery of Poblet (1153), the cathedral of Tarragona (1173) and the cathedral of Lleida (1193).

In Italy, the strong peculiarity of its artistic tradition did not prevent the arrival of some influence of the initial Gothic of French origin, perceptible in the abbey of Chiaravalle (1135) and that of Fossanova (1187).

The walls cease to be the almost unique pictorial supports. In addition to the stained-glass windows , which by their very nature continue to depend on the architectural structure, the painted furniture art begins to be very abundant, whose support is the table , which forms panels on the altar fronts and in the initially simple altarpieces ( diptychs , triptychs , polyptychs – they will become more and more complex at the end of the Middle Ages – that are arranged on the walls, or devotional pieces of smaller size, suitable to be moved and adapted to different locations. Even more easily there is for the diffusion of illuminated manuscripts , which come from an early medieval tradition, but which are becoming more and more common.

The forms are gradually losing the hieratism and frontality characteristic of Romanesque painting , composing complex scenes in which attitudes and feelings are reflected; although a characteristic ingenuity is still maintained, and the concepts of depth, shading or perspective of later times are absent.

For Gothic painting in Spain is considered “protogótico” the period in which it has overcome the iconographic and formal features of Romanesque painting but has not yet introduced the so-called ” italogótico “: the influence of the Sienese and Florentine schools that characterize the later period. Chronologically pictorial protogótico is later than the architecture of the initial Gothic, and, although it is identified with the first half of the thirteenth century (reigns of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Pedro II of Aragon ), is prolonged in time. It is also identified with the term ” Franco-Gothic “, while the ” linear Gothic ” label applies to the 14th century.

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