Carolingian Architecture flashcards |

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A system of small agricultural units organized by landlords with a force of arms, who gives basic needs and protection to peasants in return for their labor on the farm.


Charles the Great/Charlemagne

Unified France, the Low Countries, and Germany. 800 crowned Holy Roman Emperor. He encouraged architecture by donating lands and money for the construction of churches and monasteries and contributed to the westwerk. Contributor to Carolingian architecture.

The Palatine Chapel at Aachen (792-805)

Founded by Charlemagne and designed by Odo of Metz. Built by spolia from nearby Roman structures. A 16 sided aisle with a gallery overhead surrounded its central domed octagon. Construction included barrel and groin vaults, and an octagonal cloister vault in the dome. The main entrance is dominated by a westwerk. The interior of the chapel has 8 piers that supports the dome. Polychrome masonry is used in the semicircular arches of the main floor, while 16 marble columns from the Palace of the Exarchs in Ravenna were reused in the faรงade.


The western faรงade including the entrance vestibule, rooms at one or more levels above, and one or more towers.


In a monastery, the covered walk surrounding a quadrangular court that connects the domestic buildings and the church.

Cloister Vault

A dome with groined surfaces rising from a square or octagonal base. Also known as a domical vault.



In Italy, the name given to a freestanding tower.



The tower or steeple in which bells are hung.


A religious institution providing living accommodations and worship space for monks.



A monastery governed by an Abbot.

St. Gall, ca. 817

Plan of St. Gall is the oldest surviving architectural drawing from the medieval period. The largest building is the church, a double ended basilica in plan, with a western hemicycle flanked by twin cylinder towers. The church was made from masonry with a timber-truss roof and housed a worship place for monks. Multiple alters for several saints. The south side of the church had a cloister surrounded by a covered arcaded walk. Connected the chapter house, workroom, and warming room below the dorms on the east, the refectory (dining hall) on the south, and the cellar/store room on the west. The monastery was designed for 110 monks. Service buildings were grouped outside the cloister. A bake and brew house, artisan craft workshops, and a farm. East of the church has a clinic, medical herb garden, and the cemetery. Abbot was the administrator and spiritual leader of the monastery. The abbot's house, school, and guest house.

Chapter House

An assembly room in a monastery, generally located off the cloister, where the monks and abbot gathered daily for reading a chapter of the Rule by which monastic life was governed.

Saint Michaels, Hildesheim, Germany, 1000-1031

Church built after Charlemagne. The kings after him were not good rulers. Ottos, Otto the 3rd becomes king later. His tudir was Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim. After he became king, he died at 21. Left some money to the Bishop. He used this to build the church. Has compact geometric parts put together, Roman inspired. Has a lot of tall and towers with pointed roofs. Plan uses Roman proportions. The crossing square is the square that will determine the scale of the building. The square is near the apse. Has a double transcript. Divided the nave in 2 squares. 8 steps between each structural component. Has a alternate system - either, AB - column and pier, or pier, column, column, then pier. Westwerk - front always faces west. Front of the church. Bronze doors were Roman inspired.

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