A crossing, in ecclesiastical architecture, is the junction of the four arms of a cruciform (cross-shaped) church.
In a typically oriented church (especially of Romanesque and Gothic styles), the crossing gives access to the nave on the west, the transept arms on the north and south, and the choir, as the first part of the chancel, on the east.
The crossing is sometimes surmounted by a tower or dome. A large crossing tower is particularly common on English Gothic cathedrals. With the Renaissance, building a dome above the crossing became popular. Because the crossing is open on four sides, the weight of the tower or dome rests heavily on the corners; a stable construction thus required great skill on the part of the builders. February 1322, is the "... greatest individual achievement of architectural genius at Ely Cathedral" according to architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner.In centuries past, it was not uncommon for overambitious crossing towers to collapse. Sacrist Alan of Walsingham's octagon, built between 1322 and 1328 after the collapse of Ely's nave crossing on 22
A tower over the crossing may be called a lantern tower if it has openings through which light from outside can shine down to the crossing.
In Early Medieval churches, the crossing square was often used as a module, or a unit of measurement. The nave and transept would have lengths that were a certain multiple of the length of the crossing square.
The term is also occasionally used for secular buildings of a cruciform plan, for instance The Crystal Palace in London.
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 11th century, this later date being the most commonly held. In the 12th century it developed into the Gothic style, marked by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman architecture. The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.
Filippo Brunelleschi, considered to be a founding father of Renaissance architecture, was an Italian architect, designer and sculptor, and is now recognized to be the first modern engineer, planner, and sole construction supervisor. He is most famous for designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, a feat of engineering that had not been accomplished since antiquity, as well as the development of the mathematical technique of linear perspective in art which governed pictorial depictions of space until the late 19th century and influenced the rise of modern science. His accomplishments also include other architectural works, sculpture, mathematics, engineering, and ship design. His principal surviving works can be found in Florence, Italy.
The architecture of cathedrals and great churches is characterised by the buildings' large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that derive ultimately from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in Late Antiquity during the Christianization of the Roman Empire.
A spire is a tall, slender, pointed structure on top of a roof or tower, especially at the summit of church steeples. A spire may have a square, circular, or polygonal plan, with a roughly conical or pyramidal shape. Spires are typically built of stonework or brickwork, or else of timber structure with metal cladding, ceramic tiling, shingles, or slates on the exterior.
Laon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in Laon, Aisne, Hauts-de-France, France. Built in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, it is one of the most important and stylistically unified examples of early Gothic architecture. The church served as the cathedral of the Diocese of Laon until 1802, and has been recognized as a monument historique since 1840.
A transept is a transverse part of any building, which lies across the main body of the edifice. In churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform ("cross-shaped") building within the Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architectural traditions. Each half of a transept is known as a semitransept.
Ely Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, is an Anglican cathedral in the city of Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
Church architecture refers to the architecture of buildings of Christian churches. It has evolved over the two thousand years of the Christian religion, partly by innovation and partly by imitating other architectural styles as well as responding to changing beliefs, practices and local traditions. From the birth of Christianity to the present, the most significant objects of transformation for Christian architecture and design were the great churches of Byzantium, the Romanesque abbey churches, Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance basilicas with its emphasis on harmony. These large, often ornate and architecturally prestigious buildings were dominant features of the towns and countryside in which they stood. However, far more numerous were the parish churches in Christendom, the focus of Christian devotion in every town and village. While a few are counted as sublime works of architecture to equal the great cathedrals and churches, the majority developed along simpler lines, showing great regional diversity and often demonstrating local vernacular technology and decoration.
The Basilica of Saint-Sernin is a church in Toulouse, France, the former abbey church of the Abbey of Saint-Sernin or St Saturnin. Apart from the church, none of the abbey buildings remain. The current church is located on the site of a previous basilica of the 4th century which contained the body of Saint Saturnin or Sernin, the first bishop of Toulouse in c. 250. Constructed in the Romanesque style between about 1080 and 1120, with construction continuing thereafter, Saint-Sernin is the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe, if not the world. The church is particularly noted for the quality and quantity of its Romanesque sculpture. In 1998 the basilica was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the description: World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.
The medieval cathedrals of England, which date from between approximately 1040 and 1540, are a group of twenty-six buildings that constitute a major aspect of the country’s artistic heritage and are among the most significant material symbols of Christianity. Though diverse in style, they are united by a common function. As cathedrals, each of these buildings serves as central church for an administrative region and houses the throne of a bishop. Each cathedral also serves as a regional centre and a focus of regional pride and affection.
St Mark's Church is in Buncer Lane, in the former parish of Witton, Blackburn, Lancashire, England. It is an inactive Anglican church in the deanery of Blackburn with Darwen, the archdeaconry of Blackburn, and the diocese of Blackburn, and is now up for sale. Originally a separate parish, in 2005 it combined with the parish of St Luke with St Philip to form the Parish of Christ the King. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.
The Cathedral of Tarragona is a Roman Catholic church in Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain. The edifice is located in a site previously occupied by a Roman temple dating to the time of Tiberius, a Visigothic cathedral, and a Moorish mosque. It was declared a national monument in 1905.
Sacred Heart Church is a Roman Catholic church in the seaside resort of Blackpool, Lancashire, England, on Talbot Road close to the town centre. It was the first Roman Catholic church built in Blackpool and has been designated a Grade II* listed building by English Heritage.
The Basilica di Sant'Andrea is the church of a monastery in Vercelli, Piedmont, northern Italy, founded in 1219 by Cardinal Guala Bicchieri and completed in 1227. It represents an early example of Gothic architecture in Italy, inspired by Cistercian models and featuring Romanesque elements as well.
The early domes of the Middle Ages, particularly in those areas recently under Byzantine control, were an extension of earlier Roman architecture. The domed church architecture of Italy from the sixth to the eighth centuries followed that of the Byzantine provinces and, although this influence diminishes under Charlemagne, it continued on in Venice, Southern Italy, and Sicily. Charlemagne's Palatine Chapel is a notable exception, being influenced by Byzantine models from Ravenna and Constantinople. The Dome of the Rock, an Umayyad Muslim religious shrine built in Jerusalem, was designed similarly to nearby Byzantine martyria and Christian churches. Domes were also built as part of Muslim palaces, throne halls, pavilions, and baths, and blended elements of both Byzantine and Persian architecture, using both pendentives and squinches. The origin of the crossed-arch dome type is debated, but the earliest known example is from the tenth century at the Great Mosque of Córdoba. In Egypt, a "keel" shaped dome profile was characteristic of Fatimid architecture. The use of squinches became widespread in the Islamic world by the tenth and eleventh centuries. Bulbous domes were used to cover large buildings in Syria after the eleventh century, following an architectural revival there, and the present shape of the Dome of the Rock's dome likely dates from this time.
Southern French Gothic is a specific and militant style of Gothic architecture developed in the South of France, especially in the Toulouse region. It arose in the early 13th century following the victory of the Catholic church over the Cathars, as the church sought to re-establish its authority in the region. As a result, church buildings typically present features drawn from military architecture. Taking into account the Cathars' criticism of the Catholic Church, Southern French Gothic is simpler and less ornate than northern French Gothic, and further differs in that the construction material is typically brick rather than stone. Over time, the style came to influence secular buildings as well as churches and spread beyond the area where Catharism had flourished.
Romanesque architecture appeared in France at the end of the 10th century, with the development of feudal society and the rise and spread of monastic orders, particularly the Benedictines, which built many important abbeys and monasteries in the style. It continued to dominate religious architecture until the appearance of French Gothic architecture in the Ile-de-France between about 1140-1150.
Gothic cathedrals and churches are religious buildings created in Europe between the mid-12th century and the beginning of the 16th century. The cathedrals are notable particularly for their great height and their extensive use of stained glass to fill the interiors with light. They were the tallest and largest buildings of their time and the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture. The appearance of the Gothic cathedral was not only a revolution in architecture; it also introduced new forms in decoration, sculpture, and art.
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Over the crossings of the end transepts are, one at each end, squat octagonal towers, surmounted by large gilt ball-and-spike finials