Sharpening the Arches

The two great styles of architecture, Romanesque and Gothic, remain in our cathedrals and churches today. Very often side by side, and different from each other, nonetheless they sit well together, complementing each other’s strengths and fragilities.

Given that it was only in the eleventh century that Raoul Glaber said that there was so much church building going on that it seemed as though the earth was re-clothing itself in a “white garment of churches”, what brought the relatively sudden change in style barely a hundred years later? Was it new technology, new ideas or a new spirituality, perhaps coming from the Middle East? This lecture is lavishly illustrated and examines not only the progress of the change, but also some of the people who inspired and built.