Masterpieces of the middle ages.
The middle Ages, which lasted more than 1,000 years, is a major component of the history of European art. During this period of time architects, painters, sculptors have created masterpieces that we admire and are proud of so far. Although many of their creations have been irretrievably lost, but those that survived became a kind of portal into the past, taking us through those turbulent times. The review presents 5 of the most incredible masterpieces of European medieval architecture, which should certainly be visited.
1. “St Michael’s Mount” (Mont-Saint-Michel, France)
Mont Saint-Michel (“Mount St. Michael”) – a well-known island fortress, located in Lower Normandy, in Northern France. This amazing city on a rock, washed on all sides by the sea, is famous not only fascinating history, but also the fact that in this place there are very strong tides.
The exciting history of this castle began back in the VII century, when this place appeared a small settlement. But their fame is an unusual place acquired after the priest who lived here, was the Holy Archangel Michael. At this point, the community built a small chapel in honor of the Saint and since then, the town on the island called Mont Saint-Michel (“Mount St. Michael”).
For two centuries, was the construction of the Abbey, which was completed in 966. Since then, this place becomes one of the largest centers of medieval pilgrimage. After some time erected a defensive wall, turning it into a fortress city.
Despite the incredible onslaught of people, time and the elements, this place became a symbol of national unity, identity and culture, which, thanks to permanent restoration works have survived to the present day. Surprising splendour of architectural masterpieces that are a shining example of Romanesque and Gothic style in medieval France, attracting huge number of tourists seeking to visit the symbolic place for many generations.
It is remarkable, but the monks left the Abbey in 1790 already in 1874 it was declared historical monument. And since 1979, the island of Mont-Saint-Michel is a world heritage site by UNESCO.
2. Bruges ‘ canals (Bruges Canal, Belgium)
Bruges is the capital of the province of West Flanders, is a Belgian Venice, because is entirely located on the channels. These kind of waterways, paved narrow alleys, weeping willows and the picturesque cottages have become a symbol of the magical city.
The wonderful canals of Bruges and was established in 1128. For many centuries they were the main “arteries”, playing a major role in the development of the city as provided important direct connections with the North sea. The system of canals not only facilitated international trade, but also made Bruges a strategically important city on the map of Europe.
Despite the fact that the role of channels in the country and the continent, has varied over the centuries, their appearance remained mostly unchanged, allowing you to learn what life was like in medieval Belgium. Now is the most fashionable and delightful tourist route of Belgium, attracting crowds of tourists from all over the world.
3. Chapel Saint-Shepel (Sainte-Chapelle, France)
In 1248, the chapel of Sainte-Chapelle (Saint-Shepel) constructed in Paris by king Louis IX, who was canonized by the Church (the only one of the monarchs). Located nearby in the courtyard of the Royal castle. It was conceived not only as a place of turning to God, but also as a repository of relics, produced by the crusaders in the campaigns, the most sacred things were brought from Constantinople. In the Church were some of the most valuable artifacts of Catholicism, including the crown of thorns and a fragment of the cross.
Some of the stained glass of chapel Sainte-Chapelle is a unique reproduction, but most of them have been preserved since the middle ages.
Although all the relics were moved to Notre Dame Cathedral (1804), it remains very attractive from the point of view of architectural style and never ceases to amaze with its dazzling stained glass Windows depicting 1113 biblical scenes in an incredible color.
Chapel Sainte-Chapelle is also called the “pearl of Gothic” because of her elegant style impresses with luxury and wealth, embodying the entire aesthetics of French architecture of the 13th century.
Today, this sacred place attracts a huge number of visitors, from pilgrims that come here looking for God’s grace to admirers and lovers of majestic architecture and amazingly beautiful stained glass Windows.
4. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (Notre-Dame Cathedral, France)
The Paris Cathedral of Notre Dame is one of the most famous medieval wonders of the world. Extolling French architecture to dizzying heights, this famous Church is renowned for its eclectic design and impressive sculptures.
This majestic Church was built in honor of Mary, mother of Jesus, as Notre-Dame in French means “our lady”. The construction of this giant of the Church began in 1160 and lasted for 200 years. After the destruction that occurred during the French revolution in 1847 – 1864 years, lass, and Violle-Le-Duc restored part of the sculptural decorations and even reconstructed parts based on the old drawings, documents and plans similar architectural structures.
It was during this restoration, Viollet-le-Duc was inspired to create 56 of the chimeras which adorn the gallery of the tower now.
This unique Cathedral is famous not only for its size, incredible stained glass, but the biggest bell of Notre-Dame, which is called Emmanuel, the Bourdon bell, or tenor, weighing 13 tons. Now everyone can see it before the exit to the open terrace, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of Paris.
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is the most visited monument in all of France.
5. The Prague astrological clock (The Prague Astrological Clock, Orloj, Prague, Czech Republic)
The world famous Prague astronomical clock, located in one of the towers of the town hall, known as the Prague astronomical clock or Prague Orlaam (Prague Orloj). The mechanical clock and astronomical dial, a tracking position of the sun and moon in real-time, was set in the distant 1410.
Over the next centuries, constantly improved and modernized. So in 1490 was added the calendar dial, and in 1600 it was decorated with wooden sculptures, which at a certain time just come alive and begin to move. This invention 400 years ago is a real breakthrough of all time, still attracts the curious to the moving figures inside the watch.
It is noteworthy that in those days, to ensure the smooth functioning of a mechanical movement, they chained the inspector, who reported every second was monitored. If we had a breakdown or stop it was to remove the cause to the hands of the clock can continue its movement.
Unfortunately, the current version is a replica of the famous Prague astronomical clock, because after the fire of may 8, 1945 (it got an incendiary projectile), which destroyed the entire town hall, as many as three years created anew.
Despite this, the Prague Orloj is the oldest astronomical clock still working, attracting huge number of tourists wishing to see is a medieval engineering marvel.
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