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Article

Alchi  

W. A. P. Marr

Buddhist monastery in a small valley on the left bank of the River Indus, c. 64 km west of Leh in Ladakh, India. Tradition attributes the monastery’s origin to the Tibetan scholar and temple-builder Rinchen Sangpo (ad 958–1055), the ‘great translator’, and although its buildings mostly date from the 11th century, the site is replete with his memory, from the ancient tree he planted to his portraits and images in the temples. A treasure-house of art, Alchi has been preserved because of its isolation from trade routes and the decline of its community, the monks of the Dromtön sect of the Kadampa order.

Ringed by a wall and votive chortens (stupas), the religious enclave (Tib. chökhor) comprises three entrance chortens, a number of shrines and temples, the Dukhang (assembly hall) with its courtyard and monastic dwellings (see Tibet §II, and Indian subcontinent §III 6., (i), (a)...

Article

Algarve  

Kirk Ambrose

Southern-most region of mainland Portugal. Its name is derived from ‘the West’ in Arabic. This region has relatively few medieval buildings: devastating earthquakes in 1722 and 1755 contributed to these losses, though many buildings were deliberately destroyed during the Middle Ages. For example, in the 12th century the Almoravids likely razed a pilgrimage church, described in Arabic sources, at the tip of the cape of S Vicente. Mosques at Faro, Silves and Tavira, among others, appear to have been levelled to make room for church construction after the Reconquest of the region, completed in 1249. Further excavations could shed much light on this history.

Highlights in the Algarve include remains at Milreu of a villa with elaborate mosaics that rank among the most substantial Roman sites in the region. The site further preserves foundations of a basilica, likely constructed in the 5th century, and traces of what may be a baptistery, perhaps added during the period of Byzantine occupation in the 6th and 7th centuries. The period of Islamic rule, from the 8th century through to the 13th, witnessed the construction of many fortifications, including examples at Aljezur, Loulé and Salir, which were mostly levelled by earthquakes. Silves, a city with origins in the Bronze Age, preserves a substantial concentration of relatively well-preserved Islamic monuments. These include a bridge, carved inscriptions, a castle, cistern and fortified walls, along which numerous ceramics have been excavated. Most extant medieval churches in Algarve date to the period after the Reconquest. These tend to be modest in design and small in scale, such as the 13th-century Vera Cruz de Marmelar, built over Visigothic or Mozarabic foundations. The relatively large cathedrals at Silves and at Faro preserve substantial portions dating to the 13th century, as well as fabric from subsequent medieval campaigns. Renaissance and Baroque churches and ecclesiastical furnishings can be found throughout Algarve....

Article

A. P. Jamkhedkar

[anc. Aṁvaranātha, Ambaranātha]

Site of a Shiva temple in Maharashtra, India, some 7 km south-east of Kalyan, a suburb of Bombay. An inscription inside the hall records that it was repaired in 1061 (Shaka year 982) by one Mamvaniraja (Mummuniraja) of the Shilahara dynasty, dating the temple to the early 11th century or before.

Enclosed within a wall (Skt prakāra) and facing west, the temple consists of a closed hall (gūḍha-maṇḍapa) with three porches, a vestibule and sanctuary (garbha-gṛha), the latter placed at a lower level and approached by steps. The exterior walls of the sanctuary and hall are subject to a series of projections and carry niches with divine figures. These include regents of the directions on the corners and themes of Vaishnava and Shaiva mythology: for example Vishnu in his incarnations as Varaha and Narasimha; Durga Slaying the Buffalo Demon (Mahiṣāsuramārdinī); and the marriage of Shiva and Parvati (Kalyanasundara). The main cardinal niches contain Mahakali (north); Gajasurasamhara, Shiva celebrating his victory over the elephant demon, shown dancing and wearing an elephant hide (south); and Hariharapitamaharka, a syncretistic god representing Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma and the Sun (east)....

Article

Angkor  

John Villiers, Guy Nafilyan and Madeleine Giteau

Site in northern Cambodia, in a fertile plain to the north-east of the northern tip of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and near the modern town of Siem Reap. Angkor was the site of almost all the capital cities founded by successive rulers of the Khmer realm from the end of the 9th century ad until the mid-15th, when it was abandoned in the face of attacks from the neighbouring Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya. Each ruler built in the centre of his capital a state temple, usually in the form of a stepped pyramid representing Mt Meru, centre of the universe and abode of the gods, in accordance with the precepts of Hindu and Buddhist cosmology (see also Cambodia, §II, 1, (ii)). This state temple was generally surrounded by a series of concentric enclosures bounded by walls, ditches, moats and embankments, laid out in accordance with the same cosmological precepts. Within the enclosures were the chief buildings of the city, including the royal palace and other temples founded by the king, members of the royal family or leading state dignitaries. All but the religious monuments were built of wood. Important adjuncts to many of these royal cities were the reservoirs (Khmer ...

Article

Árpád  

János M. Bak

Modern term for the dynasty that ruled Hungary until 1301. Their name is derived from the chief of the Magyar tribal alliance, Prince Árpád (reg 896–907). During the four centuries of their reign (which included 5 princes and 21 kings, half of whom were buried in the now destroyed basilica at Székesfehérvár), the country became a Christian kingdom with a social and political order similar to its western neighbours. The art and architecture of the age was influenced mainly by Italian and French models with some Byzantine elements. The castle (after 1241, archiepiscopal palace) in Esztergom has significant remains from the 10th to 12th centuries. It was excavated and partly restored in the early 21st century. The west door, the porta speciosa of Esztergom Cathedral is decorated with marble intarsia in a French-influenced, Byzantine style (c. 1190) and is one of the few surviving figural monuments (now in the Esztergom Castle Museum). After the Mongol invasion of ...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Tania Velmans

Monastery situated on a wooded hill 11 km south of Asenovgrad in Bulgaria. It was founded in 1081 ad by the Georgian donors Grigori and Apazi Pakuriani after they had been granted control over extensive lands in the Rodopi Planina mountains by the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komnenos (reg 1081–1118). The two buildings of art-historical interest are the church of the Holy Archangels and the charnel-house, which lies 400 m east of and below the monastery. The church of the Holy Archangels is a single-nave structure with a dome and an elaborately divided interior. The walls are built of alternating bands of brick and stone, articulated with single-step niches, and there is an elaborate frieze of brickwork meander around the top of the dome’s drum. Numerous restorations have obliterated the original plan of the charnel-house (18×7 m), which has two storeys of single naves with eastern apses and western narthexes. Inside is a series of paintings mostly dated to the late 11th century and signed by ...

Article

Badami  

Gary Michael Tartakov

[Bādāmi; anc. Vātāpi]

Temple site and city in Karnataka, India, that flourished c. ad 542–1600. The most important remains date to the early Chalukya dynasty (6th century to mid-8th), known from the site as the Chalukyas of Badami (see Chalukya, §1). Building activity continued into the Mughal period. Badami is located on the western edge of a rocky plateau near the Malaprabha River. Set in a box canyon around an ancient tank, it first rose to prominence in 542 when it was fortified by the early Chalukyas. In the third quarter of the 6th century four shrines were cut in the south cliff. Caves I and II form a pair and are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu respectively. These were followed by Cave III, the most spectacular of the series. Dated by inscription to ad 578 (Shaka era 500), the cave has a rich variety of lavishly decorated columns and an interesting early series of images showing the incarnations of Vishnu (...

Article

Bazaar  

Mohammad Gharipour

Bazaar, which is rooted in Middle Persian wāzār and Armenian vačaṟ, has acquired three different meanings: the market as a whole, a market day, and the marketplace. The bazaar as a place is an assemblage of workshops and stores where various goods and services are offered.

Primitive forms of shops and trade centres existed in early civilizations in the Near East, such as Sialk, Tepe in Kashan, Çatal Hüyük, Jerico, and Susa. After the 4th millennium BC, the population grew and villages gradually joined together to shape new cities, resulting in trade even with the remote areas as well as the acceleration of the population in towns. The advancement of trade and accumulation of wealth necessitated the creation of trade centres. Trade, and consequently marketplaces, worked as the main driving force in connecting separate civilizations, while fostering a division of labour, the diffusion of technological innovations, methods of intercultural communication, political and economic management, and techniques of farming and industrial production....

Article

Maylis Baylé

Former Benedictine abbey church in Normandy, France. The oldest Romanesque church in Normandy, Bernay was founded by Judith de Bretagne (d 1017) after 1008, the date of her marriage to Richard II, Duke of Normandy. Completed by the mid-11th century, it had an aisled nave of seven bays, projecting transepts with an eastern apsidal chapel on each arm, and three eastern apses; both the choir and the nave were wooden-roofed. The church (originally c. 67 m long) has been much altered: the east end, north transept, and the two westernmost nave bays have been destroyed and the north aisle was rebuilt in the 15th century. The clerestory windows were enlarged and domical vaults were inserted in the south aisle in the 17th century. Restorations were begun in 1963.

Three workshops of sculptors were active at Bernay. The first, in the lower level of the choir and east wall of the transept (...

Article

Kirit Mankodi

[Vidisha; Vidiśā; Vidiśānagarī; Vedisā; Vessanagara]

City and temple site in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, India, near the modern town of Vidisha. It flourished c. 3rd century bc to the 13th century ad and was the principal city of the Dasarna region in ancient times. Besnagar was established at the confluence of the rivers Betwa (Vetravati) and Bes (Vidisha). The River Bes has given the town its various names through history. Few monuments survive, but vestiges of a substantial rampart remain on the west side of the city, where it is not skirted by rivers, and numerous mounds mark the sites of abandoned habitations and prominent religious structures. Just north of the ruined city is a free-standing pillar (c. 100 bc) known as Kham Baba. The pillar bears a Brahmi inscription stating that it was set up as a Garuda pillar in honour of Vasudeva (Vishnu) by one Heliodoros, a Greek from Taxila. Foundations of an elliptical temple have been excavated near by (...

Article

Bobbio  

Michael Richter

Monastery in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Approximately 50 km south of Piacenza in the Apennines, it was founded c. ad 613 through the cooperation of the Lombard king Agilulf (reg 590–615) and the Irish abbot and saint Columbanus (c. 540–615). Its nucleus was an older dilapidated church dedicated to St Peter. Columbanus died on 23 November 615, but his name and renown remained alive in the following centuries. Through cooperation with the Lombard monarchs as well as later the Carolingian kings, Bobbio became a very prominent monastery in Northern Italy. In 628 it was granted the earliest monastic exemption from supervision by the local diocesan, the bishop of Tortona. The community of Bobbio apparently lived according to the Rule of Columbanus as well as the Rule of Basil of Caesarea. The presence of the Rule of St Benedict cannot be documented there before the early 9th century. Bobbio became a known not only as a centre of Irish learning but also as a centre of grammatical as well as computational studies. Its early library also contained Classical texts as well as important palimpsests (a ‘catalogue’ survives from the late 9th century). In the late 9th and early 10th centuries (a period of economic decline) important illuminated manuscripts were produced there. The abbatial church was rebuilt under Abbot Agilulf (...

Article

Frederick M. Asher

and Gaya [Bodhgayā and Gayā]

Pilgrimage centres and towns located on the Phalagu (Niranjana) River in Bihar, India. From an early date Gaya has been a site for the performance of śrāddha, rites for recently deceased parents. This ancient tradition and the general sanctity of Gaya in the 5th century bc probably drew Siddhartha Gautama to its outskirts, to the place now known as Bodhgaya, where, following profound meditation, he became a Buddha (Enlightened One). The tree under which he meditated (the bodhi tree) became an object of veneration; initially it was surrounded by a hypaethral temple (Pali bodhighara), the general form of which is known from relief sculptures of the 2nd–1st centuries bc at Bodhgaya and other sites (see also Indian subcontinent, §III, 3). A stone slab (Skt vajrāsana) at the site, dating to the 3rd century bc, carries motifs similar to those found on contemporary Mauryan pillars (see...

Article

Rossella Caruso

[Boschetto; Busketus]

(fl Pisa, c. 1064–1110).

Italian architect. According to the inscription on his tomb (now set in the northernmost arch of the cathedral façade), he was responsible for the construction of Pisa Cathedral. The verses celebrate his art and technical ability, comparing them with those of the mythical Ulysses and Daedalus, and praise the expertise with which he organized the dangerous transport of the enormous columns by sea and by land, avoiding hostile ambushes and using machines of his own invention that could even be operated by two young girls.

Two documents, dated 1104 and 1110, mention Buschetto as one of the Operai (administrators) of Pisa Cathedral. He is considered responsible for its original plan, however, and he must have been active by 1064, when construction work began. The cathedral shows at least two building phases. The eastern sections of the building are built mainly of dark marble, but the walls to the west of the breaks are largely of white stone. Since Buschetto’s epigraph refers to a ‘temple of white marble’, at least some of these walls must have been executed under his direction. He was therefore probably responsible for the modification of the west end and the widening of the new façade, which was executed by ...

Article

Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan

[Asahiyama]

Japanese Buddhist temple in the city of Uji, c. 18 km south of Kyoto. It occupies 1.65 ha of woodland along the western bank of the River Uji. Its ‘mountain name’ (sangō) and identifier prefix is Asahiyama.

Byōdōin is an independent temple affiliated with the Jōdo (Pure land) school of the Tendai sect of Esoteric Buddhism and has been in operation since the late Heian period (ad 794–1185). Its principal building, the Amidadō or hall for the worship of Amida (Skt Amitābha), is called the Hōōdō (Phoenix Hall) and is widely recognized as exemplifying the type of religious art commissioned by the Heian period aristocracy, who were profoundly affected by the popularization of the Jōdo belief and praxis in conjunction with extended emphasis on the Lotus sutra (Jap. Hokkekyō or Myōhō renge kyō) as a salvational vehicle.

Uji has long been noted for its picturesque setting on the river. From at least the late Nara period (710–94) it also served as an important trade stop between Yamato and Yamashiro provinces (now Kyoto Prefect.). By the 9th century Uji had been developed as a ‘resort’ for the villas (...

Article

M. Guardia

[S Vicenç, Cardona]

Former collegiate church in Catalonia, Spain. The first reference to a church dedicated to St Vincent in Cardona Castle dates to ad 980. By the end of the century the canons were already following the rule established at Aachen, but the crucial stage in the church’s development took place under Bremon, Vizconde de Cardona (d 1029). In 1019, following the advice of Oliba, Abbot of Ripoll, he restored religious life in the church and endowed it generously. Shortly before his death Bremon began work on a new church, which was consecrated in 1040; according to the surviving record of the endowment, the lords of Cardona promised to protect the religious community in their castle. In 1090 the Augustinian rule was introduced.

S Vicenç is perhaps the boldest yet most harmonious example of First Romanesque architecture in Catalonia (see Romanesque §II 1.). The church is 57 m long and is built of ...

Article

Neil Stratford

Cluniac abbey, then priory church dedicated to SS Stephen and Fortunatus, in Loire, France. Founded by ad 875 (not 872) in the diocese of Mâcon, the abbey was given to Abbot Odo of Cluny in 932 by Pope John XI; it was reduced to the rank of a priory in the mid-11th century. The priory was suppressed in 1787 and subsequently sold; the eastern parts of the nave and the east end were razed in 1800. Numerous stone fragments, many possibly from the church, are on display in the cloister and other monastic buildings.

The earliest building seems to have had a long, aisleless nave and a choir terminating in an apse, surrounded by a half-sunk ambulatory with a single axial chapel. It may have been altered in a second campaign, dated by Sunderland to the period after 932. The Romanesque church had an aisled nave of five bays, a projecting transept and an east end with five apses in echelon; its single surviving nave bay has a two-storey elevation and a barrel vault. The capitals form a coherent series, decorated with palmettes, acanthus, heads, animal masks and ...

Article

Chola  

J. Marr

[Coḷa]

Dynasty in south India that was prominent until the 13th century ad. The Cholas, best known for their patronage of temple architecture, were one of the principal royal lineages of the Tamil country. They are mentioned in the edicts of Ashoka (3rd century bc) and figure in the earliest Tamil literature (1st–4th century ad). However, little archaeological evidence exists for the Cholas before the 9th century ad. The first ruler, Vijayalaya (reg c. 846–71), captured Thanjavur from his Pallava overlords. Aditya I (reg c. 871–907) annexed the Pallava kingdom in Tondaimandalam (now Tamil Nadu) in 903, and Parantaka I (reg c. 907–55) attacked and conquered the Pandya rulers of Madurai. The two greatest Chola rulers were Rajaraja I (reg 985–1014) and his son Rajendra I (reg 1012–44), made co-regent in 1012. Apart from their conquests, which extended from Sri Lanka to Sumatra, they were responsible for splendid temple buildings. That at Thanjavur, the ...

Article

Peter Diemer

Church near Lecco, in Lombardy, Italy. It is famous for its Romanesque stucco and painted decoration. The first reference to a Benedictine monastery at Civate occurs in a Liber confraternitatum of Pfäfers Abbey of c. 845, which lists the names of 35 monks. According to legend, the monastery was founded by Desiderius, King of the Lombards, in thanksgiving for the miraculous healing of his son from blindness by a local hermit, Durus, who became the first abbot. It is unclear whether this first monastery was situated next to S Pietro, the site of Durus’s hermitage, or in the village of Civate in the valley below, where it was certainly located by the 11th century. The later use of S Pietro and the reason for its expensive restoration by the Benedictines are also uncertain.

S Pietro al Monte has been preserved from the ruin that has overtaken most of the buildings surrounding it. Built of limestone, the church is decorated with pilasters and arch-friezes and consists of a rectangular hall with open timber ceiling and apses at either end. The double apse is reminiscent of great churches north of the Alps (cf. the St Gall monastery plan; ...

Article

Frances Terpak and Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye

Former Benedictine abbey in Aveyron, France. Originally dedicated to the Holy Saviour, the monastery was occupied by Benedictine monks from at least ad 801. In 838 Pepin I, King of Aquitaine (reg 817–38), made a donation to Conques stipulating that the monks should move and build a new abbey at Figeac. Later in the century a monk stole the relics of St Faith from Agen, carrying them to Conques, where miracles made the abbey a famous pilgrimage shrine and established its economic growth. Although this ensured the abbey’s continuation, the struggle for supremacy with Figeac lasted until 1096. These struggles and the increasing number of pilgrims probably influenced the decision in the 11th century to construct a new church and richly decorate it. The date, however, is controversial. The Chronicle of Conques credits Abbot Odolric (reg 1031–65) with having built most of the church (‘basilicam ex maxima parte consummavit’), to which he translated St Faith’s relics; but those portions of the architectural sculpture exhibiting ties to other dated monuments suggest that much of the church was built later in the 11th century and into the 12th (...