Baroque or Gothic? Roman or Greek?

posted in: Where's Waldo? | 0

We only spent an afternoon and an evening in the floating city. We definitely wanted the kids to experience Venice, but it is very expensive and especially touristy this time of year. We decided to stroll the streets, people watch and window gaze. We gawked at St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge Palace. We ate our last gelato and ordered pizza on the street. Most people would be appalled at our short visit, but it was just right for us. We thought we would share some of what the kids have studied about architecture.

So what style is this?
This is a question with which we occasionally torment the kids. If you want their quick low down on European architecture, check it out below in Walden’s words:

A gondola ride cost 80 euro to ride!

Roman architecture usually looks very impressive from the outside. The buildings are mostly built in a post and lintel system which basically means they usually have pillars holding up a giant flat block that is the ceiling. Romans used tufa (it looks kind of like marble and concrete mixed together) to building their structures. The Pantheon (pictured on our Roman post) is an excellent example of Roman architecture.

The Doge Palace

Have any idea the differences in these styles?

St. Mark’s Basilica

To understand a bit about Gothic Architecture, you must start by defining the root word itself. Goths at the time were “barbaric” and were not known for their architectural prowess. However, their architecture was known for being more complicated than the previous basic systems of the Romans. A big part of Gothic styles are the pointed arch. This lent strength and ease to the structure so that the columns could be skinnier, unlike the large round columns of the Roman style. This also allowed bigger windows and more light to enter the structure. Large, beautiful, stained glass windows are a result. Gothic buildings are a work of art, but at first glance they can seem very chaotic and unorderly.
The Notre Dame was a classical example of this, but do you notice it on St. Mark’s Basilica?

St. Mark’s Basilica is Hodge Podge of Architectural Styles

Romanesque buildings are known to be impressive, imposing structures. A big example is the . This style of architecture started in the reign of Charlegmane and was based upon a Roman Christian style. The arches and columns make sense for a large structure with bulky piers or columns and formed, logical arches. Above the large arches are usually smaller arches in pairs with columns between them. The style appears very simple, with regular geometric shapes. The Bayeux Cathedral is Norman – Romanesque

Greek architecture is very diverse. It influenced many other styles, especially Roman and Romanesque. The earliest Greek temples are easily recognizable, consisting of a large rectangular room, with protruding walls that create a small porch. Later the style changed. Temples were divided into 3 groups. Prostyle temples have columns only at the front. Amphiprostyle have columns at the front and rear, while a peripteral arrangement has a single line of columns surrounding the temple. Dipteral arrangements have a double line of columns around the temple. Greek architecture is very diverse and archaeologists have even found an example of a circular temple instead of the normal rectangular style. The Romans clearly copied the Greeks in the Roman Forum.

A big example of Baroque architecture and one that we have seen on our travels is St. Peter’s Basilica. The regular, repeating designs used were adapted, giving way to irregularity, but also still giving the structures a sense of amazement and grandeur. Baroque structures are usually highly ornamental.

So is that clear as mud?


Our dinner, less than 20 euros!

You gotta wonder about a time when Venetians and tourists really did wear masks so they could hide their identity, while they did things they wouldn’t do otherwise.

Really? Can you imagine walking the streets with these faces?

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