Middle Ages Religion

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Section 1: Identification and Evaluation of Sources The investigation answers the question: What impact did religion have on architecture in the Middle Ages? This is an important question because by analyzing the impact religion had on architecture, it allows us to better understand the middle ages and what some of their most important values were. The main topic that this investigation is focusing on is how religion impacted the interior, exterior, and window design of cathedrals. The paper focuses on the time period of 1000-1300 AD, considering most of Europe. The information used in this investigation is gathered from many books, including Age of Faith by Anne Fremantle and The Medieval Cathedral by William Lace. The first source used is…show more content…
In both Romanesque and Gothic style architecture, the floor plan of the nave is shaped like a cross . At the head of the cross lies the altar, which is always pointing east because that is the direction of Jerusalem . On either side of the body of the cross is an aisle, which also is on either side of the pews. The cross is a very important symbol in Christianity so it is natural that the place where Christians worship is shaped like a cross. In Christianity, the cross is a sign of God’s love because He sacrificed His son on a cross to save humanity from their sins. Most cathedrals in the Middle Ages had baptisteries. Baptisteries are where people got baptized. Baptisteries in medieval cathedrals were often octagonal. The eight sides represented the six days of creation, the day of rest (Sunday), and an one extra day representing the start of the new life . Religion impacted the floor plan of cathedrals in many subtle ways. Another example of this can be found in the steps ascending to the altar. A detail found in a lot of cathedrals constructed in the Middle Ages is that there are five steps leading up to the altar. Each step represented the five wounds that Jesus suffered at his crucifixion . One last detail in the floor plans of medieval cathedrals that was influenced by Christianity are the three entryways on the west portal of the cathedral. The three entryways are thought to mirror the doctrine of the trinity . There are many ways that Christianity impacted the floor plan and design of cathedrals in the Middle Ages, but it also impacted the windows in cathedrals that are still very famous
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