Represented primarily through cathedrals, Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture were some of the
few symbols of civilization in the poverty stricken and often depressing Middle Ages. These cathedrals
represented faith, dedication, and cooperation; a sane place in a world of anarchy. Gothic and
Romanesque styles of architecture were related in various ways, yet they also contrasted in style in some
Romanesque and Gothic architecture, although having many similarities, also have many
differences. This may be due to the fact that lifestyles changed in the time between these two eras of
architecture. Romanesque architecture was designed to be more for protective purposes than for any
aesthetic quality. The walls of Romanesque cathedrals were built very thickly, so as not to be destroyed by
invaders. Gothic, on the other hand, had thinner walls and worked towards a more artistic approach.
Gothic cathedrals have many more buttresses than Romanesque cathedrals. Gothic cathedrals were also
designed with statues and sculptures on them such as the gargoyle, which also served as a rain spout.
Romanesque cathedrals had few windows, as the walls of the cathedrals were very thick and made the
placement of windows extremely difficult. This lack of light seemed also to project the general mentality
and lifestyles of the people of the Middle Ages. To brighten the cathedrals, they often added many wall
paintings and mosaics. Contrary to Romanesque architecture, Gothic had many stained glass windows,
which spread colored lighting, giving a feeling of peace. They also depicted biblical figures in the
windows. Gothic style used many flying buttresses and pointed arches, while Romanesque used rounded
arches for added support to the heavy construction of the walls and ceilings.
In conclusion, Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecure helped to show people that even if
that had a miserable life, they could always turn to the comforting church for salvation. Although in
appearance their styles looked different, they essentially had the same purpose in that they both provided
a safe haven for christians to feel safe with god. This helped to greatly strengthen the church. The two
styles also had some similarities in physical appearance, not only pyschological purposes